The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) announced today that ESPN and WCVB Channel 5 will be the exclusive national and local broadcast partners, respectively, for the Boston Marathon beginning in 2023. WCVB will also have exclusive year-round coverage of all BAA events, including the BAA 5K, BAA 10K and BAA Half Marathon.
“We are honored to partner with ESPN and WCVB Channel 5, respected leaders who bring a spirit of innovation and thoughtful storytelling that will advance the BAA’s mission and legacy of the world’s oldest annual marathon,” he said Jack Fleming, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the BAA “Both have built a tradition of broadcasting world-class sporting events and we look forward to building on that tradition together in the future.”
“The Boston Marathon is one of the most recognizable and iconic sporting events in the world and we’re proud to bring it to ESPN viewers for years to come,” he said Burke Magnus, President, Programming and Original Content, for ESPN. “We look forward to working with the BAA and WCVB to showcase the stories and sporting achievements of this classic race.”
“The BAA and Boston Marathon are appreciated around the world and loved by our community, and it is especially fitting to launch this exclusive partnership as WCVB celebrates 50 years of broadcasting and community service,” he said Kyle I. Grimes, President and CEO of WCVB Channel 5. “WCVB has a proud history of covering the market’s marquee events and the Boston Marathon is the perfect complement to Channel 5’s signature local programming. We also look forward to working with the BAA throughout the year to bring their many other sporting events and the great work they are doing in the community.”
ESPN will broadcast the 127th Boston Marathon, scheduled for Monday, April 17, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. ET to 1:00 p.m. ET on its main channel. In addition, ESPN will also cover the race sport Center before live coverage and later in the day, as well as coverage on other ESPN shows and platforms.
Live coverage of the Boston Marathon will air on WCVB from 4:00 a.m. ET to 8:00 p.m. ET. The race will be exclusively regionally broadcast on WCVB Channel 5’s sister stations WMUR (Manchester, NH), WMTW (Portland/Auburn, ME) and WPTZ (Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY) owned by Hearst Television. WCVB and all of its television partners will broadcast the marathon on their digital platforms and mobile apps. The Boston Marathon will also be streamed live on Very Local Boston, and the streaming platform will host content with the BAA throughout the year. WCVB will also serve as the first-ever exclusive broadcast partner for the BAA’s Distance Medley races and will provide year-round coverage of the BAA and its races, with a focus on the Boston Marathon.
The partnership marks the return of the Boston Marathon to ESPN and WCVB, with ESPN broadcasting the world’s most prestigious road race in the early 1980s and then from 1997 to 2004. The WCVB provided wire-to-wire coverage of the marathon from 1982 to 2006, including the largest Boston Marathon in history – the centennial Boston Marathon in 1996 had 35,868 finishers.
ESPN televises other endurance events annually, 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 and field meets.
The field size for the 127th The Boston Marathon was scheduled with 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 is honored and recognized by the BAA