Monday, May 4, 2009

NBC Sports and IAAF agree to enhanced broadcast deal...

The IAAF is delighted to announce a new agreement for broadcasting coverage across the USA with NBC/Universal Sports that includes the IAAF World Athletics Series of competitions for the period 2010-2015 and the ÅF Golden League, the IAAF’s premier level of one-day meetings in athletics, for 2009.

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

This is a major step forward for the IAAF who, together with their commercial partners, Dentsu Inc., not only renews its current NBC partnership but also extends it by agreeing terms for broadcast by Universal Sports, NBC’s cable, satellite and broadband arm.

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.

All other IAAF World Athletics Series events will receive extensive coverage on Universal Sports and the total coverage will exceed exposure under the current IAAF agreement for this territory.

IAAF has also agreed to a further deal with Universal Sports/NBC for the ÅF Golden League 2009, the premier level of 1-day meetings which pitches the world’s best athletes against each other in pursuit of a $1 million Jackpot.

Significantly, the ÅF Golden League will now get terrestrial coverage in the USA: NBC has indeed agreed to cover the Zurich and Brussels meetings and is also looking to produce highlight packages of the other meetings.

Universal Sports has agreed to cover all 6 ÅF Golden League meetings live or delayed on the same day.

This additional agreement shows a strong commitment from NBC/Universal Sports to become the home of international athletics not only through IAAF events but also through its Olympic and national coverage of athletics.

IAAF President Lamine Diack, welcoming the package of TV deals for the USA, said: "This is an improved agreement for the premier events of our sport. I am delighted that now, American fans will not only be able to enjoy World Championship athletics but also the ÅF Golden League across the three mediums of terrestrial, cable and internet. We continue to move closer to achieving one of our key strategic goals which is to have a genuine impact in households across the USA."

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