Record-breaking television and digital coverage is anticipated for the 2018 World Judo Championships, scheduled to begin here tomorrow.
The eight-day spectacle will receive global coverage thanks to new deals with partners CNN and Euronews, while in a new major deal signed recently, the sport will return to Eurosport.
Additionally, BBC’s digital channels and platforms, including Red Button, iPlayer and social will also feature the competition.
The IJF has been working in conjunction with long-term partners Hakuhodo DY as the global rights holder of IJF World Judo Tour events.
The judo family were joined here today by the world’s media, superstar athletes and specialist guests in gathering to witness the draw for the individual and mixed team competition.
IJF head sports director Vladimir Barta revealed that 758 judoka and 125 nations would be represented at World Championships at the National Gymnastics Arena.
Judo fans will have unprecedented access to the sport’s blue-ribbon event with each mat being broadcast live on the IJF website with a commentator for each mat.
"I’d like to thank you all for supporting the work of the International Judo Federation and our sport as we continue to move forward," IJF President Marius Vizer said when making the opening address at the draw.
"I appreciate your work in your countries, continents and on the world stage at our events.
"I hope we will have a great World Championships and I am pleased to be able to inform you that we will have coverage on Eurosport and the BBC this year.
"We feel that our sport is moving in a positive direction and I wish you all a wonderful time in Baku."
Elmar Babanli, general secretary of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation, made the welcoming address on behalf of the Local Organising Committee.
"This is a great opportunity for our country and our sport and we hope to host a successful competition," he said.
"May the strongest judoka win in Azerbaijan."
Judo is set to bring together North Korea and South Korea under one flag with a unified team making history by competing in the mixed team event on the last day of the World Championships.
Unified Korea are seeded fourth and will be one of 19 teams competing, including the top three seeds; Japan, Brazil and Germany.
"We will witness a historic and special event in the mixed team event and I’d like to thank both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Korea for making this possible," Vizer said.
"Judo is a sport which brings us together and the world will see this in the team event."
Following the draw, three stars of the IJF World Judo Tour joined Vizer on the stage for a press conference.
The trio consisted of Austria’s Sabrina Filzmoser, a two-time world bronze medallist, who will be taking part in her 13th World Championships, Azerbaijan’s Rustam Orujov, an Olympic and world silver medallist, and France’s Teddy Riner, a double Olympic champion and 10-time world champion.
Riner is currently taking a break from the sport and will not be fighting in Baku.
He will be active, however, in his role as chairman of the IJF Athletes Commission and admitted that he will be scouting his future opponents.
"I’m looking forward to watching the heavyweight category of course," he said.
"I will be looking to pick up things as I prepare to return to competition in January as I work towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics."
The IJF is supporting more than 50 nations to take part in the 2018 World Championships, including Cuba, North Korea, Panama and Venezuela.