This breakthrough deal was achieved by IEC, IAAF's exclusive media rights holder agency for Europe and Africa and is the result of a year long process, as IEC started to work as the IAAF's partner in October 2009.
Thanks to the IEC deal with Channel 4, the IAAF is now guaranteed excellent free to air coverage of athletics in the UK. Under the terms of the agreement Channel 4 becomes the rights holder for all World Athletics Series competitions from 2011 through 2013.
Channel 4 has confirmed it will show almost 50 hours of coverage of the 2011 IAAF World Championships that take place next August in Daegu, South Korea, including all evening sessions and a daily highlights programme in prime time.
Channel 4 has also committed marketing and promotional support to its broadcasts and has agreed to produce a high quality domestic feed from Daegu.
Channel 4's status as a commercially funded terrestrial channel will also provide additional commercial opportunities for IAAF's marketing partners for the duration of the contract.
David Abraham, Channel 4's Chief Executive, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for Channel 4 and will complement perfectly our coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
"The 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships provides a strong platform to showcase our innovative approach to sport. I'm looking forward to working with the IAAF to broadcast a really engaging event."
"This is excellent news," said IAAF President Lamine Diack, "And underlines the important work that IEC is doing to secure free to air coverage in major television markets, with deals that also reflect the inherent value of our sport.
"We would like to express our gratitude to IEC for this breakthrough deal. The IAAF family will find Channel 4, to be a dynamic and vibrant terrestrial channel. Not only does it deliver strong ratings but it is particularly popular amongst the younger 16-34 year old age group, which fits in perfectly with the IAAF's current and future development strategy."
IAAF and IEC will announce further significant media rights agreements in the coming weeks.