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Press Release29 Mar 2019

IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 to be broadcast free-to-air across sub-Saharan Africa thanks to TVMS partnership


Athletes in action in the women's 1500m in Nairobi (© Getty Images)

TV Media Sport will distribute all IAAF World Athletics Series events to sub-Sarahan Africa between 2019 and 2023

Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo are among the 14 African countries able to watch the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark free to air this weekend thanks to deals completed by TV Media Sport (TVMS) and the IAAF.

TVMS reached an agreement with ESPN Media Distribution to represent the IAAF for the distribution of free-to-air media rights for all events in the IAAF World Athletics Series 2019-2023 in 48 territories of sub-Saharan Africa.

TVMS is the exclusive licensor to interested free-to-air African broadcasters of the best events in the sport of athletics, including the 2019, 2021 and 2023 IAAF World Championships, and will distribute the high quality live international world feed produced by IAAF Productions, with English and French commentaries as well as a daily highlights programme focusing on the performances of African athletes at the IAAF World Championships.

TV Media Sport’s CEO Hédi Hamel is “thrilled by this agreement that will bring back the best athletics action in most African TV Homes. TVMS will enable broadcasters to offer their audience top quality sports programming with many African athletes on the podium and this starts right now with 14 countries across Africa showing what is being described as one of the most exciting and challenging cross country courses for a decade at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. We continue to work with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and hope to add them ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha later this year.”

Commenting on the appointment, IAAF Director or Broadcast James Lord said: “This is an excellent partnership and we have been impressed with how TVMS has hit the ground running. Africa’s love of athletics is well known and we are delighted to bring the live action of our World Championships free to air across the continent, starting with the IAAF World Cross Country Championships this weekend.

“These championships will also see IAAF Productions debut as host broadcaster for an IAAF World Championships event, filming, commentating, providing graphics, highlights and distributing the live action from this exciting course to our rights-holding broadcasters for the very first time,” added Lord. “We are expecting a record number of broadcasters to be taking our host broadcast feed and are looking forward to working with them as head towards providing the host broadcast production for the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this year.” 

In its first host broadcast for a World Championship event, IAAF Productions will have 19 cameras positioned at the key sections of the course to capture all the action as the race unfolds, through the mud and sand pits, up and down the grassed roof of the Moesgaard Museum and through the Viking zone and the gauntlet of cheering fans in the hospitality tent. Just over 6km of cable will carry the action to the on-site production suite and out to 70 countries around the world.

The new agreement with TVMS does not include any rights in South Africa or the Pay-TV rights across sub-Saharan Africa. ESPN Media Distribution retains these rights and will continue to market these in the region. Athletics fans in South Africa will be able to watch the IAAF/Mikkeller World Cross Country Championships through the livestream on the IAAF’s YouTube channel.

TV Media Sport is an international agency based in Paris and specialised on the African continent dealing with media rights, media management, organisation and marketing of international and regional sporting events. TV Media Sport has been the partner of all major sports federations and institutions such as the IOC, FIFA, UEFA, IAAF, and many others.

ESPN Media Distribution represents an extensive portfolio of sports content including live sports, original studio programming and award-winning films to broadcasters through dedicated media distribution teams in locations across the globe.

IAAF Productions is a joint venture company between IAAF and ITN Productions established in January 2018 to deliver host broadcasting services of the IAAF’s World Championships and World Indoor Tour events.


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