BBC extends British Athletics TV deal to 2020

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The BBC will continue to be the home of all the major British Athletics events until 2020 after extending their current TV rights agreement.

British Athletics’ new six-year deal with the BBC, which commences after the current deal runs to the end of 2014, ensures events such as the two UK-based Diamond League meetings and the British Championships will continue to be shown on free-to-air television.

It adds to the BBC’s impressive portfolio of athletics coverage, which includes the IAAF World Championships up to 2017, Diamond League meetings, London Marathon, Great North Run, and a range of top international indoor and cross country events.

It is hoped the renewal of the corporation’s TV deal to the end of the decade will provide the sport with a stable platform in Britain in the years building up to and beyond the 2017 World Championships in London.

The extension to the current broadcast rights agreement was announced by British Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos.

“British Athletics is absolutely delighted with the new deal with the BBC,” said de Vos.

“It will ensure that our elite events will be broadcast to the widest possible audience over the next seven years until at least 2020.

“We know that world-class athletics on the BBC really fuels the public passion for the sport, and we could not ask for a better partnership to showcase our sport.

“The commitment the BBC have shown and the length of the deal confirms the commercial appeal of the sport.”

Apart from brief spells with ITV and Channel 4 in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the BBC has been British athletics’ main broadcast partner for the past four decades.

The corporation currently holds the rights to the next two summer Olympic Games in 2016 and 2020, as well as the next three IAAF World Championships, including this year’s event in Moscow and the 2017 edition at London’s Olympic Stadium.

BBC TV will also broadcast exclusive coverage of next summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said: “We’re very proud to continue our association with British Athletics.”

“This deal enables BBC Sport to bring the best of top-flight UK competition to audiences complementing our coverage of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, making the BBC the place for audiences to follow the full story of the UK’s top track and field athletes right through to 2020.”

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