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SBD Global/February 7, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship
BBC Rights Execs Open Consultancy With Sights Set On 'Less Popular' Sports
Published February 7, 2014
BUCKING THE TREND: The NBA was pointed to by Foster as one league which they could possibly work with, though this is likely to be in the longer term. A number of U.K. clients are expected to be announced in the coming months. While the consultancy launched on Jan. 1, the pair will continue to work with the BBC, as advisors on top-level football, for the next six months at least. The consultancy’s focus, Foster said, will be partly philanthropic, highlighting that it will not have “an agenda” but a focus on growing “participation levels” in less popular sports. Fozmuz’s areas of expertise will be media rights, supported by Foster and Murray's ability to open doors and bulging contacts books.
THE TIME IS RIGHT: With BT, Sky and others engaged in an increasingly frenzied bidding war for sports rights, Foster believes the market is now ripe with opportunities. Foster said, “We’re trying to help the people who can’t necessarily get attention of the big agencies, as sports are difficult to monetize. Any kind of Olympic sports, from hockey to gymnastics to athletics. Anything where two extra eyes can give extra value without an agenda.” Because of the pair’s status, Foster said they can afford to be choosy who they worked with. He said, “We’re not just going to take whoever comes along, like Underwater Netball giving us half a million pounds to do this.” Despite the BBC recently losing out on high-profile rights such as the Grand National and having its F1 rights halved, Foster believes the broadcaster is in good shape. He said, “Within a competitive environment, I think BBC Sport is quite strong. The arrival of BT means we’re looking at competition. There is no doubt that the BBC will be under severe pressure in two or three years' time. But presently I think it is in a robust situation.”
John Reynolds is a writer in London.