ESPN joins EBU for IAAF rights distribution deal

The International Association of Athletics Federations has signed a multi-year agreement with the European Broadcasting Union consortium of public-service broadcasters, and ESPN Media Distribution, the rights agency division of the global sports broadcaster, for the sale and distribution of rights in Africa and Europe.
The deal will cover a broad collection of rights, including the next three editions of the IAAF World Championships and World Indoor Championships, as well as more than a dozen competitions in the World Athletics Series.
The EBU will lead the sale of free-to-air television rights to members in various countries across Europe, while ESPN will oversee the distribution of rights in Africa.
The EBU and ESPN will also collaborate to represent the rights for pay-television, digital media and additional free-to-air opportunities in Europe.
In addition, both the EBU and ESPN will have the ability to leverage the ESPN Player OTT steaming platform to reach out to fans across Africa and Europe.
The EBU has been working with the IAAF since the inception of the World Championships in 1983 and has held the exclusive media rights in Europe and Africa for the four years spanning 2014 to 2017. The new agreement takes effect from January 1, 2018.
Oliver Gers, chief executive of the 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.”
Meanwhile, the IAAF has announced that it will stream live coverage of its 2017 World Championships via social media platform Facebook and video-sharing website YouTube.
Fans in more than 140 countries around the world can access live streams of the multi-sport event on the IAAF’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel, subject to geo-blocking.
This year’s World Championships take place in London, England from August 4-13.