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34 Countries to Air Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games

By Ilham Karimli April 14, 2017

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Karabakh horses, national treasure of Azerbaijan, famous in the world for their beauty are the official mascots of the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games / Azertag

The Islamic Solidarity Games, held next month in Baku, Azerbaijan, will be broadcasted in 34 countries thanks to a series of broadcast agreements signed with multiple media organizations and announced last week. 

TV Media Sport, an international French company that specializes in sporting events, will be an exclusive agent broadcasting the games across sub-Saharan Africa. 

"The diversification of international sports events is and remains a powerful vector of TV Media Sport activities. Baku 2017 will be the perfect incarnation of our strategy,” said Hedi Hamel, President of TV Media Sport, according to the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games’ official website.

TVMS has received commitments from broadcasters in 12 countries to air live footage and highlights from the games. Countries and local stations include Ivory Coast (RTI), Nigeria (NTA Sports 24), Tanzania (AZAM MEDIA GROUP ZBC2), Uganda (UBC), Mozambique (TVM), Chad (ONRTV), Mali (ORTM), Guinea (RTG), Niger (ORTN), Democratic Republic of Congo (RTNC), Mauritius (MBC) and Burkina Faso (RTB).

The Islamic Solidarity Games is a multinational sporting event that involves athletes from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which consists of 57 member states representing more than 1.6 billion of the world’s population. This year’s games, dubbed Baku 2017, are the fourth of its kind and will take place in one of the world’s few Shia Muslim majority countries, namely Azerbaijan. The country of about 9.8 million is slightly smaller than Maine, lies along the Western shore of the Caspian Sea, and is sandwiched between Russia to the north and Iran to the south.

Media partners also include the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) as a broadcast agent across North Africa and the Middle East. It will provide free-to-air state broadcasters across 22 countries the opportunity to show the Games on their channels.

Baku 2017 has also signed an agreement with TRT, the leading Turkish broadcaster. Coverage of the Games will also be broadcast in South America’s Suriname and Guyana by local channels ATV and the National Communications Network, respectively.

The games run from May 12 – 22, with opening and closing ceremonies held at Baku National Stadium, although 16 other venues will host various competitions that include 22 disciplines from 18 sports. The Games will see 6,000 athletes from 57 countries competing in sports that include aquatics, basketball, boxing, football, gymnastics, karate, weightlifting and zurkhaneh.

The first Islamic Solidarity Games were held in Saudi Arabia in 2005. Iran lost its right to hold the second event, originally scheduled to take place in 2009, after a brawl between the Arab states and Tehran over the removal of the word “Persian Gulf” on competition medals, which Persian organizers refused to do. Indonesia played host to the third Games, in 2013.