SBD Global/April 21, 2017/Media

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  • Ban On Gambling Ads Could Threaten Australian Free-To-Air Sports Broadcasts

    Popular Australian sporting codes "may no longer be broadcast on free-to-air television if the networks lose gambling advertising revenue," a major media company warned, according to Lucy Battersby of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Australian Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is reportedly "considering a ban on gambling ads screening from the start to finish of sporting events." TV networks are "increasingly reliant on revenue from the gambling industry," which spent nearly A$150M on wagering and lottery advertisements in '16, an increase of 19% on '15. Networks have been "screaming for cuts" to their license fees in the May federal budget "to make up for declining ad revenue." Restricting advertising flow from sports events "could reduce networks' ability to recoup the millions they spend securing exclusive sports broadcast rights." A Channel Seven spokesperson said, "The reported gambling advertising restrictions would have a significant impact on the future value of sporting rights for free-to-air broadcasters and, as a result, we are likely to see more of them [sports] migrating to unregulated platforms run by foreign multinationals." A spokesperson for Channel Nine, which has rights for the National Rugby League, said that it would work with the government to reform gambling advertising "across all platforms." She added, "Measures targeting TV alone do not reflect the reality of how audiences are exposed to gambling advertising, and the sensible approach would be to include all platforms" (SMH, 4/21). In Melbourne, Rob Harris reported sporting groups, including Cricket Australia, are "warning the changes would risk the integrity agreements struck with betting agencies, where sporting officials can monitor any gambling by players, coaches and staff." Responsible Wagering Australia -- a lobby group for online bookies headed by former Labor senator Stephen Conroy -- already signaled the industry is "willing to drastically wind back its advertising" (HERALD SUN, 4/20).

    LEAGUE RESISTANCE: ABC's Chris Uhlmann reported the "biggest forces standing against the planned changes are Australia's largest sporting codes." On April 12, Australian Football League CEO Gillon McLachlan and NRL COO Nick Weeks met with Fifield in Melbourne. Both argued that "curtailing gambling advertising will slash the value of the television rights their codes attract." The NRL has a commercial deal with Sportsbet worth A$60M ($45.2M), and half of the league's 16 teams have a corporate bookmaker as a major sponsor. The AFL has a A$10M ($7.5M)-per-year deal with CrownBet (ABC, 4/19).

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  • ManU, Facebook Partner For Augmented Reality Platform

    ManU teamed up with Facebook to demonstrate one of the platform's new features, Camera Effects. The update, which will be made available to the public in the near future, turns smartphone cameras into the first augmented reality platform, and was unveiled with the help of the club at the company's annual F8 developer conference in California. Included with this new platform are two creative tools, Frame Studio and AR Studio, that give the Facebook community the power to create a full spectrum of visual effects using the Facebook camera, from simple frames to interactive AR experiences (ManU). THE DRUM's Taruka Srivastav reported Facebook will "depend on an inventory of external developers" to contribute to the new platform. The first effects will become available inside Facebook's camera feature on smartphones. However, the Camera Effects platform is designed to "eventually be compatible with future augmented reality hardware, such as eyeglasses." ManU is the launch partner, creating an experience by pulling in football match data and "GOOAALL!" image overlays with crowd noises. Game developer EA has also built a mass effect-themed helmet mask that "pulls in stats from your progress in the game." Nike will "overlay a sweatband on your head and pull in your recent running route as an overlaid map" (THE DRUM, 4/19).

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  • Media Notes: Sky Sports To Show Test Cricket In Ultra HD

    Sky Sports will show Test cricket in Ultra HD this summer when England takes on South Africa in "their Test series across July and August." In a first for Test cricket, Sky Q customers in the U.K. and Ireland "can look forward to every ball of the four-match series in Ultra HD." The four Test matches against South Africa "form part of Sky’s biggest ever summer of sport and will be shown exclusively live throughout July and August." The multi-camera coverage, available with Sky Q, "will be supported by Ultra HD graphics, Hawkeye and enhanced statistical offerings" (ADVANCED TELEVISION, 4/20).

    FIFA opened an invitation to tender for the worldwide in-flight and in-ship media rights to the 2018 World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the Women’s World Cup 2019. In-flight rights allow for audiovisual coverage of the events on a live and/or delayed basis for reception by means of any in-flight entertainment system. In-ship rights allow for audiovisual coverage of the events on a live and/or delayed basis for reception aboard cruise ships in int'l waters (FIFA). 

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