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The BBC is "unveiling a marketing campaign to promote its coverage of the London 2012 Games," according to Sebastian Joseph of MARKETING WEEK. The "Stadium U.K." campaign launched Sunday with an "animated spot that features athletes training and competing in typically British backdrops" such as a BMX rider on a cliff and sprinters racing through a city street. The spot uses the strapline "Wherever you are. Never miss a moment with the BBC," and will span the corporation’s TV, radio and digital Olympic content (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 7/1). BRAND REPUBLIC's Matthew Chapman reported that the campaign features "a specially commissioned track" by rock band Elbow called First Steps. The song was recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the NovaVox gospel choir. The track will be available for download on July 27. All profits will go to charities BBC Children in Need and Sport Relief. Elbow has "waived all fees and royalties, and retailers have waived all profits" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 7/1). BROADCAST NOW reported that BBC 2012 Marketing Head Louisa Fyans said that the challenge had been "to create a campaign reflecting the BBC's unique role" as the U.K.'s Olympic broadcaster and the scale of the Olympic Games. Fyans: "Animation enabled us to deliver to this brief and helped us create something really special for the BBC’s London 2012 campaign" (BROADCASTNOW.co.uk, 7/2).
BBC Sport's Match of the Day host Gary Lineker "may quit the BBC for broadcaster BT, leaving the popular Saturday night team without its frontman," according to the London DAILY MIRROR's Simon Boyle. Lineker was "facing a big pay cut" to his £2M ($3.1M) yearly salary at the BBC, which put his future on Match of the Day "into doubt after his agent expressed an interest in him working for BT’s new sports channel." A BT source said, “Obviously, we’re keen that our coverage is hosted by a big-name presenter with a proven track record." BT is said to have set aside “serious money” to fund its football coverage. The insider added: “The budget for presenters is a secret, but suffice to say there is a big chunk put aside for the main host and some pundits" (DAILY MIRROR, 7/2).
HIGH PRAISE: In London, Brian Barwick noted that Lineker is "completely at ease" and "seemed to enjoy the tournament." He was part of the BBC's coverage that forced ITV to concede "another defeat to their rivals in this head-to-head" broadcasting battle. ITV "put up a decent fight," but the BBC "always win it." Lineker has been "particularly at his strongest when coaxing answers and opinions out of studio guests like Harry Redknapp, David Moyes, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Vialli and Jurgen Klinsmann." Over on ITV, host Adrian Chiles was "an intriguing mix; a producer's nightmare -- 'where's he taking us now?' -- but with an endearing manner that often involves asking the questions the fans at home want answered." BBC commentators Guy Mowbray and Mark Lawrenson "pick up the winners' medals." They "work well off each other and are at their best when they lay off the comedy, and concentrate on 'who passed to who' and why" (DAILY MAIL, 7/1).
CRITICS ABOUND: In London, Jim Shelley opined that the BBC's football coverage "has been awful." It has started to look "stale and archaic, and in need of a total overhaul." The BBC has "suffered the humiliation of being second best" at Euro 2012 to ITV. That is "despite the presence" of Chiles (DAILY MIRROR, 7/1). Also in London, Stuart Heritage wrote that Euro 2012's TV coverage "taught us all an incredible amount." That includes that the ITV set designer has "access to some unbelievably horrible sofas," and that Lineker "can only use urban slang a maximum of two times before it gets boring." Also, the state of British commentary "is lamentable." ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley "has no shortage of detractors" and Euro 2012 "offered little to change their minds." Lawrenson, meanwhile, "gradually and audibly lost the will to live as the tournament progressed." The BBC's staff offered "an alternative commentary." Ditching the traditional two-voice style of commentary, the BBC lot "essentially threw everything they had at the wall." There were BBC stars Chris Johnson and Sonali Shah and their friends. It "wasn't the best place to hear an authoritative evaluation of the match itself" (GUARDIAN, 7/2).
Spain's 4-0 win over Italy Sunday in the Euro 2012 final was "the most watched football match in history," according to EUROPA PRESS. The Spanish team "beat all the records not only in sports but also in the history of television." Telecinco's broadcast was watched by 15.4 million people, or an 83.4% share. For more than one minute, more than 20 million people were tuned. That excludes "all the spectators that followed the game in the streets on gigantic screens installed across Spanish cities." The most watched minute came at 10:32pm GMT when 17.8 million people were watching the broadcast for a 90% share (EP, 7/2).
ITALY: In Italy, Rai Uno's broadcast of the Azzurri's defeat was watched by 22.5 million people, or an 81.7% share (SPONSORING.fr, 7/2).
GERMANY: In Germany, more than 20 million people watched Spain's historic victory. An average of 20.3 million people watched ZDF's broadcast of the Euro 2012 final. That's a market share of 56.2%. It was also "the most-watched game of the tournament that did not feature the German national team" (HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, 7/2).
FRANCE: In France, 12.9 million people were tuned in for TF1's broadcast of the final, which resulted in a 48% share. The "peak audience" was 14.5 million people. It was the "second-best audience" of the tournament and the "fourth-best audience ever" for a game not featuring the French national team (SPONSORING.fr, 7/2).
U.S.: In the U.S., ESPN earned a 3.0 overnight rating for the Euro 2012 final, down slightly from the 3.1 overnight the event pulled for ABC in '08. Because of deadly weekend thunderstorms in the Eastern half of the country, overnight information from Baltimore, Columbus, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. are not included in this figure. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale was the top market (6.51), followed by N.Y. (5.82) and L.A. (4.86). The rest of the top 10 were S.F., Austin, San Diego, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Providence, Richmond and Las Vegas (John Ourand, THE DAILY). The AP’s Ronald Blum reported the Spain-Portugal and Italy-Germany semifinals averaged 1.9 million viewers, a 46% "increase from 1.3 million four years ago.” With both semis starting at 2:45pm ET, Spain's win was “seen by 1.9 million on Wednesday," while Italy's win Thursday "drew by 1.9 million the following day.” ESPN said that the semis “averaged 576,000 additional viewers on computers, smart phones, tablets and Xbox.” Blum noted the first 31 matches “averaged 1.2 million viewers on ESPN's networks, up 61% from '08.” Blum: "In an era when many sports struggle to maintain ratings, U.S. viewership of international soccer is increasing at a startling rate" (AP, 7/1).
U.K.: In London, John Plunkett noted the Euro 2012 final averaged 12.3 million viewers on BBC1, with a 15-minute peak of 13.3 million on Sunday night. Meanwhile, ITV1's coverage of the match averaged 2 million viewers, with a 15-minute peak of 2.2 million. Overall, BBC1's Match of the Day Live “pulled in 10.2 million viewers, a 41.3% share, between 7pm and 10.15pm” GMT (GUARDIAN, 7/2).
TWITTER: Twitter said that global traffic peaked at 15,358 tweets per second Sunday as Spain scored its fourth and final goal against Italy in the Euro 2012 championship match, "setting a sports-related record on the social networking site." Twitter said that it registered a total of 16.5 million tweets worldwide during the match in Kiev (AP, 7/2).