A new national and local media rights deal has been announced for the Boston Marathon. Beginning in 2023, the race will be televised on ESPN and locally in the Boston metro area on WCVB Channel 5.
Sister stations in the New England region will simulcast WCVB Channel 5’s coverage on WPTZ (Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York), WMTW (Portland and Auburn, Maine), and WMUR (Manchester, New Hampshire).
WCVB Channel 5’s mobile apps and digital platforms will allow family, friends, and general viewers to track all of the festivities before, during, and after the race.
It will be live-streamed too on Very Local Boston via Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
The B.A.A. (Boston Athletic Association) is the managing entity behind the race. Notwithstanding a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, under normal circumstances, the annual event occurs every April on Patriots Day in Massachusetts.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch locally back to WCVB, WBZ controlled the rights. The 2020 race was canceled, and the 2021 race was aired on the USA Network nationally.
Exclusive year-round coverage for all events managed by the B.A.A. is included in the deal too for its 5k, 10k, and half marathon as well.
April 17, 2023 is next year’s date and marks the 127th running of the Boston Marathon.
ESPN will be on air from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM on race day. ESPN also intends to cover the race on its marquee SportsCenter show both before and after live coverage, plus integrate it into additional network programming.
WCVB Channel 5 in Boston views the new deal as a continuation of treating the Boston Marathon as one of its premier events. Its coverage will run over a longer period from 4:00 AM during the race’s build-up all the way through 8:00 PM when the very final runners or walkers cross the finish line.
ESPN previously aired the Boston Marathon in the early 1980s and from 1997 to 2004. WCVB controlled broadcasting rights locally from 1982 to 2006.
The 10-year anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing near the finish line will be commemorated too in some yet-to-be-determined capacity by the B.A.A.
The B.A.A. is a non-profit organization first established in 1887 to support and promote healthy living through sports.
Its primary sponsor for the Boston Marathon since 1986 has been John Hancock.