Worlds: US TV deals

IAAF agrees groundbreaking broadcast deal for the USA
Sunday 12 November 2006
Monte-Carlo - The IAAF is delighted to announce a significant advance on broadcasting coverage across the USA for our premier global competition, the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, including Osaka 2007 and Berlin 2009.

The significant increase in accessibility of athletics’ premier global event across the USA comes from a combination of free-to-air, cable and internet TV agreements.

NBC will provide Saturday and Sunday coverage, for an average of 6.5 hours of free-to-air terrestrial TV, at each of the World Championships. In addition, will provide delayed on demand coverage at each of the World Championships.

Owned by General Electric, NBC is one of the leading terrestrial broadcasters in the USA, and this deal enhances their showcase of the best track and field in the world, as they are already the USA rights holders for the Olympic Games.

In total, VERSUS will screen a minimum of 50 hours of Athletics coverage from each the 2007 and 2009 World Championships (original and replay). The network’s deal also includes live coverage of the 2008 World Indoor Championships.

VERSUS is one of the fastest growing cable channels in the USA, and currently supplies 71 million homes, with the expectation of continued growth over the next several years.

WCSN (World Championship Sports Network) will deliver through their website every hour of the World Championships in Athletics in 2007 and 2009, as well as the 2008 World Indoor Championships, live and will make the content available to viewers on WCSN’s website as a video on demand product shortly after the competition is completed each day, together with clips capturing the key moments from each day’s competition.

In 2005, WCSN, the country’s premier multi-platform network dedicated to creating a 24/7 destination for interacting with and viewing athletics, for the first time ever in the USA, broadcast every hour of the World Championships in Athletics.

IAAF President Lamine Diack, welcoming the package of TV deals for the USA, achieved in cooperation with Dentsu Inc., who are the IAAF’s exclusive worldwide partner responsible for the exploitation of their commercial rights, said: “This is a truly groundbreaking agreement for the premier event of our sport. I use the term ‘groundbreaking’ specifically because while our World Championships have been shown before in the USA across the three mediums of terrestrial, cable and internet, the synergy of the coverage provided by three such important players in the US TV market will give the 2007 and 2009 IAAF World Championships in Athletics a greater than ever impact in households across the USA.”

“This deal further reconfirms that Athletics is the Olympics number one sport, and as such is naturally attractive to the USA which is the most successful nation at both our sport and in the Olympic Games as a whole.”