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The Int'l Paralympic Committee has awarded the U.K. TV rights for the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to Channel 4 "following a highly competitive tender process," according to Gareth A. Davies of the London TELEGRAPH. Channel 4 beat the BBC with "a bid believed to be worth about" £7M ($11M). The broadcaster will provide more than 45 hours of coverage from Sochi and 500 hours from Rio. Channel 4's Head of London Games coverage Deborah Poulton said, "Rio is the perfect opportunity to build on the legacy of the groundbreaking London 2012 coverage" (TELEGRAPH, 2/8). MEDIA WEEK's Arif Durrani reported Channel 4 "will also show coverage of major international para-sport events," including July’s IPC Athletics World Championships from Lyon, France, and August’s IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada. In addition to building on coverage of the London Games, Channel 4 has also committed to continue its marketing campaigns over the next four years, and "create a theatrical documentary, supported by Film 4 Production" (MEDIA WEEK, 2/8). The PA reported the popular "The Last Leg" program featuring comedians Adam Hills and Josh Widdicombe and presenter Alex Brooker, which "attracted more than 1 million views for its end-of-Games hour-long special," will return for Sochi and Rio (GUARDIAN, 2/8).
ASSEMBLING NEW STAFF: RADIO TIMES' Susanna Lazarus reported Channel 4 trained up to 10 new presenters and reporters with disabilities, a number of whom "are expected to reprise their roles" for future para-sports coverage. One of Channel 4's new reporters will "also be trained up to become a dedicated Paralympic correspondent on Channel 4 news" (RADIO TIMES, 2/8).
La Liga club Atlético Madrid has been ordered to pay €9.8M ($13.1M) to media company Mediapro "in a dispute over television rights," according to the AFP. The Court of First Instance in Madrid "found the Spanish first division club liable on Thursday of breaking a contract with Mediapro," signed in '10, to provide exclusive rights to all of its league matches. However, Atlético "vowed to appeal the ruling, which, if upheld, would be payable in three instalments" of €3.2M ($4.3M) over the next three years. A club spokesperson said, "The sentence is not final. There are still two courts to which we can appeal: the High Court of Justice and the Supreme Court. We will definitely appeal." La Liga clubs Athletic Bilbao, Celta Vigo, Espanyol, Getafe, Osasuna, Real Sociedad, Real Zaragoza and Real Betis "now also face having to compensate Mediapro" (AFP, 2/8).
From AS, in Spanish.
Euroleague Basketball has signed an "agreement with IMG to show the Turkish Airlines Euroleague on Sport 24, the first live global premium 24-hour sports channel for airline passengers," according to ISPORTCONNECT. Sport 24 will take the competition's action to another level, "letting fans enjoy Euroleague games in the air, too." Sport 24 "is the in-flight channel exclusively produced and distributed by IMG Media." Starting on Thursday with Week 7 action in the Top 16, passengers on Turkish Airlines and other select airlines "will be able to watch three Euroleague games per week," including the playoffs phase, between April 9-25, and the signature event of the competition, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, to be broadcast May 10-12 from London (ISPORTCONNECT, 2/8).
The Seven Network "is actively seeking the broadcast rights to Australian cricket, approaching potential presenters, while Nine is bidding its time to make a serious bid," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. The "much-hyped" Big Bash League has experienced crowd and TV ratings down almost 20%, and "it remains to be seen how the new broadcast package appeals to free-to-air television." Next year's package "will look different, no matter who gets the rights," with five One-Day Internationals scheduled for the Ashes summer '13-14. Broadcasters "will be bidding for a new product," with the BBL "being pushed as part of the wider deal, although there is scope for that to be sold separately." It is understood that Cricket Australia "will have to decide whether to take the highest offer" for the BBL or "take the lower bid for broader exposure." The league is currently broadcast by Fox Sports, and "it is keen to hold on to the rights to what is one of the most successful sports" in the country, with average audiences of more than 200,000 per game. TV audiences "are still considered strong" despite an 18% fall (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/11).
German public broadcasters ARD "has received high ratings for its broadcast of the Biathlon World Championships on Thursday evening," according to David Grzeschik of QUOTEN METER. A total of 4.04 million viewers tuned in to watch the biathlon competition. The broadcast, which started at 5:30pm German time, obtained a market share of 20.5%. In the target demographic 14-49, the world championships from Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, attracted 680,000 viewers. The number translated into a 10.6% market share (QUOTEN METER, 2/8).
HOOPS MAGAZINE: QUOTEN METER's Fabian Riedner reported German sports channel Sport1 "will launch a new weekly basketball magazine" on Saturday. The new basketball magazine called "Basketball - Der Countdown" (Basketball - The Countdown) will air Saturdays at 7:30pm German time and show highlights from the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), Euroleague, Eurocup and the NBA (QUOTEN METER, 2/8).
Ski Racing Australia has confirmed a broadcast deal and schedule that will see water ski racing broadcast on commercial free-to-air TV for the first time in the sport's history. Seven Network's 7Mate channel is broadcasting one-hour episodes of all three rounds of the inaugural Australian Waterski Racing Championship, which began with Redcliffe on Sunday (Ski Racing Australia). ... BT revealed its new BT Sport logo ahead of the company's launch of new sports channels in the summer. The logo, which was developed by Red Bee Media, mixes the BT Connected World brand imagery with a new font developed specifically for the new brand (BT Sport). ... Brazilian TV channel Esporte Interativo has signed a deal with the Int'l Judo Federation, which allows it to broadcast all major IJF events in Brazil until '16. EI will now broadcast live IJF events on its TV, mobile and Internet platforms (EI). ... Media rights agency MP & Silva has secured the exclusive rights to broadcast all 380 Premier League matches per season from '13-14 to '15-16 on Dutch TV (Premier League).