IAAF multi-year rights deals with EBU, ESPN

On the eve of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships London 2017, the IAAF has reached a new, multi-year agreement with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and ESPN Media Distribution for the sale and distribution of a broad collection of media rights, including the next three IAAF World Championships and IAAF World Indoor Championships, and more than a dozen other competitions in the IAAF World Athletics Series.

Together, the EBU and ESPN Media Distribution will represent the media rights to IAAF events across Europe and Africa, bringing a unique, combined ability to maximise the profile of Athletics and increase access to the sport’s top global competitions to hundreds of millions of fans across the two continents via a combination of free-to-air television, pay television and digital media platforms.

The EBU will represent the free-to-air television rights to its members in numerous countries across Europe, ESPN will represent the IAAF media rights across Africa and the two will collaborate to represent the rights for pay television, digital media and additional free-to-air opportunities across Europe. The two companies also have the ability to leverage the ESPN Player OTT streaming platform to reach Athletics fans.

IAAF CEO Olivier Gers said: “We saw extraordinary crowds in both Kampala and Nairobi for our cross country and U18 Championships this year. This new broadcasting agreement with two of the principal players in the broadcasting world will be a step forward in the IAAF’s strategy to engage young people and bring the spectacle of the sport and the amazing athlete stories to the millions of fans across Africa and Europe in the mobile and flexible formats they want. The increased use of streaming, supplementing traditional broadcasts on a variety of platforms, will allow the IAAF’s top events to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

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