ESPN, WCVB Channel 5 Named Exclusive Broadcast Partners for 2023 Boston Marathon
The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that ESPN and WCVB Channel 5 will serve as the exclusive national and local broadcast partners, respectively, for the Boston Marathon beginning in 2023. WCVB will also provide exclusive year-round coverage for all B.A.A. events including the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K, and B.A.A. Half Marathon.
“We’re honored to partner with ESPN and WCVB Channel 5, respected market leaders who bring a spirit of innovation and thoughtful storytelling that will propel the mission of the B.A.A. and legacy of the world’s oldest annual marathon forward,” said Jack Fleming, acting Chief Executive Officer of the B.A.A. “Both have established a tradition of broadcasting world-class athletic events, and we are excited to build on this tradition together into the future.”
“The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s most recognizable and best-known sporting events and we’re proud to be able to bring it to ESPN viewers for years to come,” said Burke Magnus, President, Programming and Original Content, for ESPN. “We look forward to working with the B.A.A. and WCVB to present the stories and athletic achievements of this classic race.”
“The B.A.A. and the Boston Marathon are esteemed around the world and beloved by our community, and to be launching this exclusive partnership as WCVB marks 50 years in broadcasting and service to the community is especially fitting,” said Kyle I. Grimes, WCVB Channel 5 President and General Manager. “WCVB has a proud history of covering the market’s marquee events, and the Boston Marathon is the perfect addition to Channel 5’s signature, local programming. We also look forward to working with the B.A.A. year-round to highlight their many other athletic events as well as the great work they do in the community.”
ESPN will broadcast the 127th Boston Marathon, scheduled to take place on Monday, April 17, 2023, on its flagship channel from 8:30 a.m. ET until 1:00 p.m. ET. In addition, ESPN will also have coverage of the race within SportsCenter before the live coverage and later in the day, as well as coverage appearing on other ESPN shows and platforms.
Live coverage of the Boston Marathon will air on WCVB beginning at 4:00 a.m. ET through 8:00 p.m. ET. The race will be exclusively simulcast regionally on WCVB Channel 5’s Hearst Television owned sister-stations WMUR (Manchester, NH), WMTW (Portland/Auburn, ME), and WPTZ (Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY). WCVB and all of its television partners will provide coverage of the marathon on their digital platforms and mobile apps. The Boston Marathon will also be live streamed on Very Local Boston, and the streaming platform will host year-round content featuring the B.A.A. WCVB will also serve as the first-ever exclusive broadcast partner for the B.A.A.’s Distance Medley races and will provide year-round coverage of the B.A.A. and its races, with a focus on the Boston Marathon.
The partnership marks the return of the Boston Marathon to both ESPN and WCVB, with ESPN having aired the world’s most prestigious road race in the early 1980’s and then from 1997-2004. WCVB provided wire-to-wire coverage of the marathon from 1982 through 2006, including the largest Boston Marathon in history—the centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 featured 35,868 finishers.
ESPN annually televises other endurance events including the TCS New York City Marathon, NCAA Division I Indoor & Outdoor Track and Field Championships, NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, the American Track League, the Penn Relays and various collegiate track & field meets.
The field size for the 127th Boston Marathon has been established as 30,000 participants. Registration will take place over five days, September 12–16, 2022. The 2023 race marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon, which will be honored and recognized by the B.A.A.