The Starting Five Hangin' With ... Mark Noonan 'The Fighter' Scribes To Co-Write LFC Film DHL, Bayern To Expand Into New Markets Executive Transactions F1 Delays Cockpit Protection Until '18 Names In The News Backlash Continues Against Rule 40 Arsenal Cannot Compete With Rivals Thompson: Essendon 34 Will Sue AFL
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Vodafone has revealed that it will bundle live EPL football and digital music streaming into its 4G packages "after signing deals with Spotify and Sky," according to Nic Fildes of the LONDON TIMES. The company "will go head-to-head with the rival O2 in launching 4G on the same day," Aug. 29. It will initially launch in London before rolling out to 12 cities -- including Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield -- "by the end of the year." Vodafone will charge a premium for 4G -- which it said is typically six times faster than existing 3G networks -- "with SIM-only plans available" from £26 ($40) a month (LONDON TIMES, 8/7). In London, Christopher Williams wrote the operator "is hoping to stand out in the market with its new content bundles." Subscribers to 4G "will be offered either free mobile access to Sky Sports Mobile TV or free access to the Spotify Premium music streaming service, for six months." Vodafone's U.K. CEO Guy Laurence said that the BSkyB deal would last for at least the next two football seasons, "but declined to provide further details of the relationship." He defended the rollout plan, insisting Vodafone was "very chilled" about when customers were able to access 4G and that its entertainment packages were a nationwide proposition from day one, even on 3G (TELEGRAPH, 8/7).
German publishing company Axel Springer Board Chair Mathias Döpfer "has increased the pressure on the German Football League (DFL)," according to Marc Bartl of KRESS. In the dispute concerning broadcasting rights between Axel Springer and German pay-TV network Sky Deutschland, Döpfer said that "he is confident the DFL will prevent the Sky app." Döpfer: "I can't imagine that the DFL is tolerating Sky's actions. Everything else would be a breach of contract." In the unlikely case that the DFL is not deciding in favor of Axel Springer, Döpfer announced that "the company would take legal action against the DFL and ask for damages." However, Döpfer is certain that the league will "resolve the issue ahead of Friday's Bundesliga start" (KRESS, 8/7).
Barcelona and Real Madrid are the most popular teams in the world in terms of the clubs' followers on Twitter and Facebook, according to rankings by marketing agency ZenithOptimedia. On Facebook, Barcelona, is No. 1 with 42.7 million followers, followed by Real Madrid with 38.4 million, ManU with 33.7 million, Chelsea with 17.2 million and the NBA L.A. Lakers with 16.4 million. Of the top 10 teams in the world in terms of Facebook friends, seven are football clubs, two play are NBA teams while the other is F1 team Ferrari. Barcelona and Real Madrid also lead the way on Twitter, with 9.1 million and 7.9 million followers, respectively. Rounding out the top five in Twitter followers are the Lakers, with 3.1 million followers, EPL Arsenal with 2.4 million and Chelsea with 2.3 million. Six of the 10 most popular teams in the world on Twitter are football clubs, with each of the remaining four members of the NBA. Below are charts ranking the top clubs on Facebook and Twitter (CLARIN, 8/6).
Ranking Of Most Followed Teams On Facebook
Rank Team Sport Country Followers 1. Barcelona Football Spain 42.7M 2.
Real Madrid Football Spain 38.4M
ManU Football U.K. 33.7M
4. Chelsea Football U.K. 17.2M
5. L.A. Lakers Basketball U.S. 16.4M
6. AC Milan Football Italy 15.7M
Arsenal Football U.K. 14.1M
Football U.K. 12.2M
Ferrari F1 Italy 11.8M
10. Chicago Bulls Basketball U.S. 8.7M
11. Miami Heat Basketball U.S. 8.2M
12. Indian Cricket Cricket India 7.7M
13. Bayern Munich Football Germany 7.5M
14. Boston Celtics Basketball U.S. 6.9M
15. N.Y. Yankees Baseball U.S. 6.3M
Ranking Of Most Followed Teams On Twitter
Rank Team Sport Country Followers 1. Barcelona Football Spain 9.1M 2.
Real Madrid Football Spain 7.9M
L.A. Lakers Basketball U.S. 3.1M
4. Arsenal Football U.K. 2.4M
5. Chelsea Football U.K. 2.2M
6. Liverpool Football U.K. 1.7M
Miami Heat Basketball U.S. 1.4M
Football Italy 1.4M
Boston Celtics Basketball U.S. 1.11M
10. Orlando Magic Basketball U.S. 1.10M
11. Man City Football U.K. 909,982
12. N.Y. Yankees Baseball U.S. 906,697
13. Chicago Bulls Basketball U.S. 832,605
14. N.Y. Knicks Basketball U.S. 637,218
15. Paris St. Germain Football France 627,942
La Liga Athletic Bilbao is having a documentary, "A century in 90 minutes," made about its old stadium, San Mamés, which is currently being demolished. The club wants the film to "serve the stadium's legacy for future generations, so it has supported a rigorous, high-quality audiovisual document that reviews the life and essence of the old stadium." The content "revolves around a series of interviews, with most recorded on the field" (EL PERIODICO, 8/7). ... The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that it will stream the Women's Ashes NatWest ODI fixture at Lord's on Aug. 20 live on its website and official YouTube channel -- the first time that the ECB has streamed a non-televised fixture live on its digital platforms. Commentary will be provided by former England players turned broadcasters Isa Guha and Mark Butcher, alongside BBC broadcast journalist Alison Mitchell (ECB).