ING NYC Marathon returns to live national TV


As part of new five-year deal with Disney’s ESPN/WABC-TV NYC, 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 year-round national and local five-year television package jointly announced 1/9 by WABC-TV/ESPN and NYRR (NY Road Runners) officials.

The Marathon will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and available through WatchESPN from 9:00 a.m.-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 air nationally a two-hour Marathon highlight show. The agreement begins with this year’s event on 11/ 4.

The 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 PSAs 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.

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.

The ESPN2 telecast will be the centerpiece of the programming schedule. 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.