Athletics’ IAAF World Indoor Championships, which took place in Sopot, Poland last weekend, were broadcast in more than 200 countries worldwide, according to the IAAF, the sport’s world governing body, and its broadcasting partners the European Broadcasting Union for Europe and Africa and Dentsu for the rest of the world.
Sopot was the first competition in a new four-year broadcasting agreement between the IAAF and the EBU which covers the 2014-17 IAAF World Athletics Series.
The IAAF said: “Initial reports confirm a TV audience in the tens of millions across Europe and Africa which represents an improvement on the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul and an increase of more than 300 per cent compared to the same event four years ago in Doha.”
More than 250 hours of transmission were broadcast in 24 European countries and via pan-European coverage, while in Africa there was free-to-air coverage as in 19 territories, as well as widespread pay-television coverage across sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2011 the IAAF took the dramatic step of returning to the EBU to be its media rights partner in Europe and Africa for major events from 2014 to 2017, a deal that brought an end to its relationship with previous rights-holder IEC in Sports, the Stockholm-based international sports marketing agency.
Lamine Diack, the IAAF president, said: “Significantly Sopot 2014 marked the commencement of our new broadcasting agreement with EBU. The preliminary figures for the audience, countries and number of hours transmitted represented a particularly encouraging beginning to that partnership. The IAAF is especially pleased that fans across Europe were able to watch the championships thanks to mostly free-to-air national agreements and Eurosport’s pan-European coverage.
“We look forward with great confidence to four years of further cooperation with our broadcasting partners, an important period which significantly includes two editions of the outdoor IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 and London 2017.”
Meanwhile, the IAAF has appointed seven members to its newly-formed ethics commission, chaired by Michael Beloff, a prominent UK lawyer.
The other members, who have all been appointed for four-year terms, are: “Kevin Gosper and Carlos Nuzman, the Australian and Brazilian International Olympic Committee members, respectively; Japan’s Akira Kawamira; USA’s Thomas Murray; Finland’s Lauri Tarasti; and Senegal’s Tafsir Malick NDiaye. Sportcal