Channel 4 reported to be selling on athletics World Championships

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 intends to sell on the media rights to the 2013 athletics World Championships to public-service broadcaster the BBC, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.

Channel 4 has the rights under a four-year deal, from 2010 to 2013, with rights-holder the International Association of Athletics Federations, brokered by the IEC in Sports agency. The BBC has a deal for the rights from 2014 to 2017 via public service broadcaster consortium the European Broadcasting Union, which acquired them directly from the IAAF.

The Daily Mail reported that Channel 4 wants to sublicense the rights for several reasons. First, it is unhappy about losing them to the BBC in the next cycle. Second, the broadcaster’s coverage of the 2011 World Championships was heavily criticised, partly because of a poor performance by one of its lead presenters. Third, selling on the rights will allow Channel 4 to focus on acquiring the rights for the 2014 Paralympics, which are currently on the market.

Channel 4 is understood to be favourite to acquire the 2014 Paralympics rights. The BBC is also understood to have bid for them.

Channel 4 intends to cover the International Paralympic Committee’s Athletics World Championships in Lyon next year.

Moscow will host the 2013 World Championships.