via press release:

ING New York City Marathon Returns to Live National TV in 2012

as Part of Five-Year Deal with ESPN/WABC-TV


ESPN2 to televise live race coverage beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET

Marathon-day coverage to include live five-hour local show on WABC-TV

and two-hour national highlight show on ABC

New York, January 9, 2012—The ING New York City Marathon will be shown on live national television in 2012 for the first time in almost 20 years as the cornerstone of a new comprehensive year-round national and local five-year television package jointly announced today by WABC-TV/ESPN and NYRR officials. The Marathon will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and available through WatchESPN from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET/6:00 to 9:30 a.m. PT, and in New York on WABC-TV and from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That same afternoon, ABC will broadcast nationally a two-hour Marathon highlight show. The agreement begins with this year’s event on Sunday, November 4.


The unprecedented partnership will also feature coverage of ING New York City Marathon weekend events and other marquee NYRR races throughout the year, as well as quarterly public service announcements on WABC-TV that highlight NYRR’s efforts to encourage running as part of a child’s healthy lifestyle. The deal reunites NYRR with ABC, which carried the first live national broadcast of the Marathon in 1981 and where it aired until 1993.


“The ING New York City Marathon is one of the greatest spectacles in all of sport, and today’s announcement is a huge step forward in bringing all of the event’s passion and excitement into homes, live, across the country,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of NYRR and race director of the ING New York City Marathon.


“We’re thrilled that for the first time in almost 20 years, a nationwide audience can experience the 26.2 exhilarating miles that combine the spectacle of great racing with the triumphant celebration of the human spirit—a captivating drama starring  more than 47,000 runners, including the world’s best, played out on the vibrant streets of New York City,” said Wittenberg. “The scope of this agreement, which also showcases the events surrounding the Marathon as well as other marquee NYRR races throughout the year, is a significant step forward as we seek to develop and promote our sport.”


Dave Davis, president and general manager of WABC-TV, said, “As New York’s number one station we are proud to be the home of New York’s biggest sporting event. It’s great to have the ING New York City Marathon back where it belongs and in a way that more people than ever before will be able to see it.  We also look forward to helping NYRR spread its message about the health benefits of running to all New Yorkers.”


John Wildhack, ESPN’s executive vice president of program acquisitions and strategy, said, “From all over the world runners come to New York to participate in one of road racing’s signature events. Working with our partner and New York affiliate WABC-TV, we will provide sports fans with first-class coverage of the ING New York City Marathon and showcase the athleticism and heart of its competitors live on our national platforms.”


The ESPN2 telecast will be the centerpiece of a robust schedule of programming. The 26.2-mile race annually draws the world’s top professional runners, a field of more than 45,000 participants from all 50 states and more than 125 countries, and 2.5 million spectators against the backdrop of all five boroughs of New York City, while raising tens of millions of dollars for charity and having an economic impact of more than $340 million. In addition to the telecast, the event will be available online at and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Programming will begin with a two-hour pre-race show from 7:00–9:00 a.m. on WABC-TV. All of WABC-TV’s local coverage will be streamed on its website,, and on authenticated mobile devices.


WABC-TV’s commitment includes coverage of several NYRR events surrounding the ING New York City Marathon Road to the Finish, including Marathon Opening Day in April and the Marathon Opening Ceremony featuring the Parade of Nations on Friday, November 2,  as well as a half-hour Countdown preview show on Marathon Eve, Saturday, November 3.


A combination of live and tape-delayed coverage of select NYRR marquee events throughout the year is also part of the extensive broadcast package, including the NYC Half on March 18 and the Fifth Avenue Mile in September.


IMG will continue to be the production company of the Marathon telecast as well as other NYRR programs and events in the deal.


New York Road Runners

Headquartered in New York City, New York Road Runners is dedicated to advancing the sport of running, enhancing health and fitness for all and meeting our community’s needs. Our goal is to use the expertise acquired in our 53-year history to empower all people to live fitter, healthier lives through participation in our races, community events, instruction and training resources and youth programs. Our races and other events draw more than 300,000 people each year. The ING New York City Marathon, NYRR’s premier event, is the largest and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting the world’s top professional runners every year and raising $34 million for charity in 2011. NYRR’s running-based youth programs, which currently serve more than 100,000 children in hundreds of schools and community centers, promote children’s health and fitness, character development and personal achievement in underserved communities. For more information, visit


The ING New York City Marathon

The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing some 140,000 applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not only for the $650,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering spectators and a worldwide broadcast reach of 330 million. As any one of the more than 923,000 past finishers will attest, crossing the finish line in Central Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information, visit



WABC-TV has been the leader in local news and entertainment programming in the New York City area for more than 60 years. Producing more than 41 hours of live, local news and weather each week, Channel 7 Eyewitness News is the most watched local news in New York and the United States. WABC-TV also produces LIVE! with Kelly, weekdays at 9:00 a.m., which is seen in more than 200 markets across the U.S. Quality news and programming, cutting edge technology and ongoing community outreach… a commitment to excellence that has consistently kept WABC-TV New York’s #1 station and the most watched television station in the nation.



ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of eight 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN 3D and the regionally focused Longhorn Network) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (48 networks, syndication, radio, websites, mobile, apps), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, online and apps, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), (plus a variety of sport-, college- and market-specific sites), ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPNHS and espnW. Multi-screen offerings include WatchESPN (access to several ESPN networks online and via an app) and ESPN3 (live multi-screen network available online, on the go and via Xbox LIVE). Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.



Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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