The IAAF has reached a new agreement with ESPN Media Distribution and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for the sale and distribution of media rights for selected events in the IAAF World Indoor Tour (WIT) from 2018 to 2023.
Together, ESPN and the EBU will represent the global media rights (excluding each event’s host territory) to IAAF WIT events in Karslruhe, Dusseldorf and Torun, all of which are held in February 2018. Rights for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow are also included in the agreement from 2019.
The news follows the announcement in August that together, ESPN Media Distribution and the EBU will represent the media rights to IAAF events across Europe and Africa 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.
ESPN and the EBU bring 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.
Adding World Indoor Tour events to the suite of rights already represented by ESPN and the EBU means that the two organisations can provide broadcasters and media companies with access to the most exciting, relevant and pertinent content in the lead-up to the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 which takes place next March in the UK.
The EBU and ESPN will work together to represent the media rights in Europe and the rest of the world, across free-to-air, pay and digital media.
IAAF CEO Olivier Gers said: “Athletics has had a phenomenal year with World Championship events in Uganda, Kenya and of course the spectacular IAAF World Championships in London this summer which was viewed in more than 200 territories around the world. Bringing our sport in to the homes and hands of our growing fan base underpins the media rights deals we are pursuing. ESPN and the EBU have both the experience and the creativity to deliver this ambition.”
Charly Classen, Vice President and General Manager, ESPN EMEA, said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with the IAAF and the EBU. These events in the World Indoor Tour are a great addition to the deal, and an excellent way for us to build on the solid foundations that began with the agreement we announced in August.”
Director of EBU Sport Stefan Kürten said: “The World Indoor Tour Athletics is an exciting addition to our existing agreement with IAAF and ESPN. Athletics is enjoying incredible success across Europe at the moment with viewers able to enjoy more than 2,300 hours of action from this year’s IAAF World Championships across our territories. We look forward to building on our partnership to bring the indoor events to both new and traditional athletics fans.”