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SBD/Issue 222/Sports MediaPrint All
ABC, Versus To Share IRL
Television Rights Through 2012
INCREASED EXPOSURE: IRL executives are most excited by the increased exposure that Versus is promising, saying that the amount of IRL programming will increase at least 200% over what had been on ESPN. The biggest gripe from IRL stakeholders has been the short window for the race and lack of ancillary programming on ESPN. Versus addressed that with a 3-hour window on race day, a Saturday show and re-airing the races during the week. Versus also is planning pre- and post-race shows around the races, plus other ancillary programming it plans to develop. "ESPN's blessing and curse is all the sports properties it has," said Versus Exec VP/Programming, Production & Business Operations Marc Fein. "The position of our network is to go after properties we can own. We want to surround and embrace it." Fein said Versus plans to replicate the amount of promotion and marketing that it has used for the NHL. "We're going to promote it a lot more than it has been promoted," Fein said.
TSN To Launch Channel To Focus
On Major Sports Programming
Scottish Football Association Inks $116M
TV Deal With Sky Sports, BBC
GOAL ORIENTED: DAILY VARIETY's John Hopewell reported Spanish TV provider Sogecable has reached a deal with FIFA for all Spanish rights to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. While terms of the deal were not released, Sogecable "likely ponied up as much as, if not more than, Spanish broadcaster La Sexta reportedly paid -- [US$140.5M] -- for World Cup 2006 rights." Sogecable's pay TV operator Digital Plus will broadcast all of the games (DAILY VARIETY, 8/6).
PLAYING TO SPACE: The GLOBE & MAIL's William Houston reported each of the 50,000 Canadian HHs that subscribe to Setanta Sports Canada are "forking over $14.99 a month" to watch the provider's English Premier League content. Setanta North America President Shane O'Rourke said that after one season of the EPL in the Canadian market, Setanta's distribution of "50,000-plus has exceeded expectations." Houston noted there are "negatives, starting with the monthly fee." Also, HD coverage, "for which soccer is a particularly good sport, is not available" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/6).
OUT AT THE DISH: Dish Network Friday removed GolTV from its channel lineup, as Dish's carriage deal with the net expired. GolTV had been available on Dish Network's "America's Top 250 and Dish Latino programming packages." A GolTV spokesperson last weekend said that there had "not been any negotiations over the weekend, but he anticipate[d] that talks would resume" Monday (MULTICHANNEL.com, 8/3).
As one might expect, the trade of QB Brett Favre to the Jets dominated sports blogs over the past 24 hours. Olympics discussion also increased, with topics including the U.S. cyclists' apology for arriving in Beijing wearing air masks, the Opening Ceremony, the U.S. women's soccer team's 2-0 loss to Norway yesterday and NBC's plans for coverage. Yankees P Joba Chamberlain's shoulder injury and subsequent move to the 15-day DL was also a popular topic. Rounding out the top five were the announcement of the '08-09 NBA schedule and charges of point shaving leveled against former Univ. of Toledo basketball player Sammy Villegas. Visit www.sportsmediachallenge.com for more info or see chart below.
In L.A., Dawn Chmielewski reports Disney "plans to relaunch Toon Disney as Disney XD, a cable channel ... aiming at boys ages 6 to 14." The channel "will offer original action-adventure and comedy series, movies, animation and sports-themed shows developed" with ESPN. The move, which was "under wraps for more than a year, is an attempt by the company to capture a market that has long eluded it." The Disney Channel "has struggled for years to find the right programming formula to lure boys, who tend to gravitate to Viacom's Nickelodeon and Time Warner's Cartoon Network" (L.A. TIMES, 8/7).
Writer Feels Not Many Hard-Hitting Moments
In First Episode Of HBO's "Hard Knocks"
CABLEVISION: With Cablevision reportedly considering selling off some of their higher-profile assets, he WALL STREET JOURNAL's Silva & Currie note based on Cablevision's deal last year to sell stakes in FSN Bay Area and FSN New England to Comcast, the value of Cablevision's N.Y. sports channels, MSG and MSG Plus, "could be roughly $1[B]" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/7). In detailing News Corp’s strong performance in the company’s cable programming segment earlier this week, Chair & CEO Rupert Murdoch stated that the gains came "despite $200M spent on the introduction of Fox Business Channel and the Big Ten Network" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6).
PLAYING THROUGH: The PGA of America has extended a television agreement through 2020 with TSN to broadcast in Canada the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, Senior PGA Championship and the Grand Slam of Golf (THE DAILY).