SBD Global/February 5, 2014/Media

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  • Super League Rugby Chiefs Blast New $325M Sky TV Deal Set For 2017

    Wigan Chair Ian Lenagan has questioned the Super League's new TV deal.

    Super League rugby side Wigan Warriors Chair Ian Lenagan "has questioned the wisdom" of the league's new TV deal, according to the BBC. The Super League last week revealed a new five-year deal with Sky worth around £200M ($325M), to begin when the current contract expires at the end of '16. Lenagan: "It is a dreadful commercial decision to be agreeing with three years to go on the current deal. We are now shut out from any increase in the value of broadcasting rights over an eight-year period." The current deal is worth £127M ($207M) but, despite the increase of around £73M ($118M), Lenagan "sees it as a missed opportunity" (BBC, 2/3). In London, Ash Howes reported most clubs "are still sticking by the collective vow to keep silent about any objections to the game’s controversial new structure." But Lenagan decided on Monday "to come out firing." Lenagan is "arguably the biggest opponent of the new system" and of Rugby Football League CEO Nigel Wood. Lenagan is also "angry that clubs were given only 24 hours notice of the meeting to discuss the deal and a limited amount of time to study the details before being forced into an immediate take-it-or-leave-it vote." He "now wishes he had not agreed," saying, “I regret immensely that, under the pressure of time and a stated desire for some unanimity, I voted Wigan in favor of accepting the deal because it was clear that financially-challenged clubs would support it” (TELEGRAPH, 2/3). Defending the deal, Wood said, "There is democracy at work at all levels in rugby league. Everyone in the sport wants it to succeed and I don’t think anyone would not salute that flag. Whatever measures are taken to improve the sport should be welcomed" (THE DRUM, 2/4).

    SOUR IN SALFORD: In London, Andy Wilson reported Salford Owner Marwan Koukash has followed Lenagan by "slamming Super League's new long-term television deal with Sky in a scattergun attack on the game's governing body." Koukash offered a collection of sponsors, supporters and media his thoughts on recent Super League developments. Of the Sky deal, he said, "I voted against it, because I didn't think it is the right one. You don't marry the first girl you meet. You go out with them, you sleep with them, you try them, but don't commit to the long-term relationship until you're sure there's no one else better." Koukash "was especially annoyed at the lack of notice he and the other Super League chairmen were given." Koukash: "All right, we've got more money -- bloody £300,000 ($489,000) per year. Will it let us increase the salary cap? No. I tell you what it will do -- it will allow us to stabilize some of the clubs." Koukash was "similarly scathing over the new three-year sponsorship deal with First Utility that was announced last week." Koukash: "Supposedly wonderful news, but we will be lucky if we get £30-40,000 ($49-65,000). We are securing better deals than that ourselves as a club" (GUARDIAN, 2/4).

    SPENDING MONEY: In Sydney, Steve Mascord reported English rugby league chiefs are hopeful the TV windfall "will help halt the player exodus to the NRL." Wood said that while there were no immediate plans to increase the salary cap, the new cash "could make a marquee player system more likely." Wood: "It will certainly help" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/5).

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  • Australian Turf Club Unveils New TV Campaign Featuring 'Horsewives,' Glamazons, Aristocrats

    Showponies, Glamazons and The Real Housewives of Turf County "are just some of the characters who appear in the new Australian Turf Club TV campaign that unashamedly targets carnival-goers," according to Christian Nicolussi of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. On Tuesday the 90-second clip "was posted online." The ATC "made no apologies for placing a priority on what happens off the track rather than the horses." ATC GM of Sales & Commercial Tony Partridge said, "We want to appeal to the current racegoer, but more importantly we want to heighten the curiosity of people who might want to come to the races. We want them to see a bit of glamor and a bit of sex [appeal] in going to the races." The commercial "will be rolled out on to TV screens and radio this week." Billboards "have already started popping up around town, while the full 90-second ad will be seen in cinemas" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 2/4).

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  • Transfer Deadline Day, Six Nations Rugby Help BBC Sport Break Traffic Records

    Transfer deadline day and the beginning of the RBS Six Nations "helped BBC Sport break records during the month of January, recording its busiest day for traffic outside of the London 2012 Olympic Games," according to THE DRUM. A total of 6.9 million unique U.K. browsers visited the site on Saturday "following the closure of the transfer window the day before." Handheld devices "proved to be the most popular way to follow the action," accounting for 68% of total traffic compared to 32% from desktop. Outside of the Olympic Games, BBC Sport also "shattered a number of other records" with 1.3 billion page views in the U.K. and 1.6 billion visits globally. Monthly traffic of 48.5 million unique U.K. browsers and 70.1 million globally "also set records with two record weeks of traffic" in the U.K. Friday's transfer deadline day saw total traffic reach 6 million unique U.K. browsers, an increase of 11% on the same day in '13 (THE DRUM, 2/4).

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  • Media Notes: Barcelona Featured In 60-Page Section In Japan-Based Zone Magazine

    Barcelona "has a lot of pull in Asia and Japan is no exception." The latest example was "Japan-based international football magazine Zone publishing a 60-page feature on Barça in its January edition." Neymar appears on the issue's cover under the phrase, "Enjoy Barça." The feature includes interviews with midfielder Adriano Correia and the team's youth football system coordinator, Guillermo Amor (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 2/4). ... Man City's official iPhone app is now available to download. The app is designed for iPhones and iPod Touch and gives fans access to content including videos and statistics (Man City). ... Sports media and technology firm deltatre announced the acquisition of Impire AG, a leading provider of premium sports data and digital media services, as well as TV graphics and performance analysis technologies in German-speaking markets (deltatre). ... ESPN announced its programming schedule for Spanish-speaking Latin America for the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday (ESPN).

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