IAAF calls on EBU and ESPN again to distribute World Indoor Tour rights
The IAAF, athletics' world governing body, has once again turned to the European Broadcasting Union, the umbrella body of mainly public-service broadcasters, and ESPN Media Distribution, the media rights arm of the international sports broadcaster, this time to distribute media rights for selected events in the World Indoor Tour.
The deal runs from 2018 to 2023, with ESPN and the EBU both representing the global media rights (excluding each event’s host territory) across free-to-air, pay and digital platforms to World Indoor Tour events in Karslruhe, Dusseldorf and Torun. Rights for the Glasgow event are also included in the agreement from 2019.
Other events not included in the agreement at present are staged in Madrid and Boston.
In August, the IAAF appointed the EBU and ESPN Media Distribution to distribute media rights to three editions of the World Championships (2019, 2021 and 2023) and World Indoor Championships (2018, 2020 and 2022) and more than a dozen other competitions in the World Athletics Series.
The IAAF said that adding World Indoor Tour events 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 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England in March.
The EBU and ESPN will work together to represent the media rights in Europe and the rest of the world
Olivier Gers, the IAAF's chief executive, 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 over 200 territories around the world. Bringing our sport into 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.”
Stefan Kürten, director of EBU sport, added: “Athletics is enjoying incredible success across Europe at the moment with viewers able to enjoy over 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.”
The World Indoor Tour was created in 2016 to give the international indoor season a formal unified structure. The individual overall winner of each event receives $20,000 in prize money and a ‘wild card’ entry to the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
The IAAF launched its invitations to tender for media rights in Europe and Africa on 10 May, saying at the time that it was open to bids “for wider regions or individual countries.”