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EBU, ESPN secure IAAF athletics media rights

Deal encompasses free-to-air, pay-TV and digital media platforms

The EBU and ESPN have sealed a deal to market the media rights to IAAF international athletics events across Europe and Africa from January 2018.

The EBU will represent the free-to-air (FTA) rights for members across Europe, while ESPN will distribute the rights across Africa.

The pair will collaborate to represent the rights for pay-TV, digital media and additional FTA opportunities across Europe.

The agreement includes the 2019, 2021 and 2023 IAAF World Championships as well as the 2018, 2020 and 2022 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Oliver Gers, CEO, IAAF, said: “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.”

The EBU has worked with the IAAF since the inception of its World Championships in 1983 and has held the exclusive media rights in Europe and Africa since 2014.

Charly Classen, vice president and general manager, ESPN EMEA, added: “IAAF Athletics is a fantastic, globally relevant sports property with an incredibly exciting opportunity in front of it.

“Working with the IAAF and EBU we’re very excited to help grow the sport and further broaden the appeal of its competitions, make the most of both traditional and emerging media platforms and help build the next generation of athletics fans.”