The World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, this year’s edition of track and field’s flagship event, is set for widespread and in-depth TV, digital and radio coverage across Europe and Africa, with over 40 broadcasters dedicating a combined total of 2,700 hours of programming to the event, 2,500 hours of it live.
This represents an increase of 38% on the hours of live coverage on offer during last year’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA.
Over 700 broadcast crew will attend WCH Budapest 23, taking place between 19 and 27 August in the Hungarian capital.
Individual EBU Members will offer innovative digital opportunities to their respective audiences to engage with the content. For instance, Switzerland’s SRG SSR will implement a new interactive tool for viewers enabling them to vote on topics such as ‘Who will win today's men's/women’s 100m race?’ during the live event. The results will be displayed in real time on the feed and will be discussed by the broadcaster’s commentators.
EBU Members that have committed to showing WCH Budapest 23 include: ORF (Austria); RTBF & VRT (Belgium); BNT (Bulgaria); HRT (Croatia); CBC (Cyprus); CT (Czechia); DR (Denmark); ERR (Estonia); YLE (Finland); France Televisions (France); ARD & ZDF (Germany); ERT (Greece); MTVA (Hungary); RUV (Iceland); RAI (Italy & San Marino); KZSP (Kazakhstan); LT (Latvia); LRT (Lithuania); SNRT (Morocco); NOS (Netherlands); RTV (North Macedonia), NRK (Norway); TVP (Poland); RTP (Portugal); RTS (Serbia); RTVS (Slovakia); RTVS (Slovenia); RTVE (Spain); SRG SSR (Switzerland); TRT (Turkey); BBC (UK); UAPBC (Ukraine).
Other broadcasters contracted through Eurovision Sport/ESPN include: Eurosport (pan-Europe); Arena Sport (pan-Balkan); The Sports Channel (Israel); Virgin Media (Ireland); TV4 (Sweden); Supersport (Sub-Saharan Africa); CRTV (Cameroon); NCI (Ivory Coast); KBC (Kenya); Afrosport, NTA, AIT, Galaxy, TVC (Nigeria); SBC (Seychelles); LNTV (Liberia).
Additionally, coverage by EBU Members and other rightsholders will be complemented by live streaming on All Athletics, Eurovision Sport’s digital platform that provides coverage for all World Athletics and European Athletics events. On top of the integrated feed, all isolated camera angles will be available via All Athletics, along with a comprehensive video-on-demand offer.
Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, said: “Excitement is building rapidly now for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, particularly after the brilliant early season performances we have all witnessed in athletics. I can’t remember a better start to the year for our sport. Recent world record-breakers like Faith Kipyegon, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, and Mondo Duplantis are clearly ready to shine on our biggest stage. The thrilling performance standard is reflected in the high interest of our broadcasters and their onsite attendance in Budapest, where they will capture all the magic moments and relay them to our eager fans across Europe, Africa and around the world.”
Glen Killane, Executive Director of Eurovision Sport, said: “WCH Budapest 23 promises to be a groundbreaking event. As broadcast partner in Europe and Africa the EBU is proud of our partnership with WA and excited at what lies ahead. With increased coverage, and more choice on TV, radio and digital platforms, audiences are in for a real festival of athletic excellence. With potential audiences of well over 1 billion people the EBU is the very best shop window in the world for the very best athletes on the planet.”
In November 2021, the EBU and World Athletics renewed their long-running media rights agreement, extending and enhancing their partnership for all events in the top-tier World Athletics Series.
Starting in 2024 and running until 2029, the new agreement covers European and African rights on all existing and non-existing platforms, via all distribution modes (albeit the vast majority of coverage will be free-to-air), as well as non-exclusive radio rights.
The existing contract between World Athletics and the EBU, together with ESPN, began in 2018 and runs until 2023, and the latest renewal marks a 40-year partnership between World Athletics and the EBU.
Budapest’s brand-new 35,000-seat National Athletics Centre, standing on the eastern bank of the Danube River, will host the stadium events, with track events taking place on a freshly-laid Mondo surface that promises fast times.
Road events will begin and end in Budapest’s historic Heroes’ Square in the heart of the city and will pass by many of the city’s most famous monuments.
Budapest’s location, easily accessible for most of Europe by car, train and aeroplane, means that capacity crowds are expected (with one month to go, over 250,000 tickets had already been sold).
Around 2,000 athletes from 200 countries will compete at WCH Budapest 23, with the stars of the men's 100m sprint set to compete on the opening day on 19 August.