World Athletics and EBU renew rights agreement until 2029

  • New deal to focus on athlete storytelling
  • EBU members pledge to explore innovations in digital broadcasting

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), a broad coalition of 115 free-to-air media companies, and World Athletics announced an extension of their long-standing media rights partnership for all events in the world’s leading governing body series.

The renewed agreement, which covers the flagship biennial World Athletics Championships and the World Indoor Athletics Championships, incorporates new developments in digital broadcasting technology and a commitment to athlete storytelling.

The existing contract between World Athletics and the EBU, with ESPN, began in 2018 and runs until 2023.

The new expanded broadcast partnership begins in 2024 and runs until 2029, covering European and African rights on all existing and non-existing platforms, through all modes of distribution, as well as non-exclusive radio rights.

Prior to the confirmation of the extended deal, 29 EBU members have already confirmed that they will broadcast world athletics events during the six-year term of the contract.

The new agreement also includes a provision for the creation of a documentary series on athletics and a commitment by the EBU to provide “innovative coverage opportunities” for World Athletics through the digital operations of its members.

The EBU also said it will work alongside World Athletics to improve the governing body’s business opportunities for the World Championships. World Athletics will also receive commercial airtime on more than 20 broadcasters to support its own campaigns.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “We have had a long and successful partnership with the EBU and I am delighted that it has been extended in a strengthened agreement which we believe will be a game-changer for our sport. .

“This is good news for our athletes and fans as it will create more opportunities for all who love our sport to watch it regularly and more easily, and for new fans to fall in love with its undeniable magic. EBU is ideally placed to help us grow over the six years of this agreement.

Noel Curran, EBU Director General, added: “The EBU will partner with World Athletics in the implementation of its strategic plan for growth, inspiration and leadership in sport.

“In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with a busy and high-level athletic schedule ahead, this is an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we believe only service media public are able to help develop and fully exploit, on all possible platforms.

The deal with World Athletics was announced as Eurovision Sport, the EBU division that manages the organization’s sports media rights, entered into a multi-year agreement with Blackbird to use cloud-native video production workflow tools. from the specialist in video solutions.

Eurovision Sport deploys Blackbird’s native cloud editing tools for members to take advantage of within their media supply chains.

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