SBD Global/January 3, 2018/Media

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  • Disney-Fox Deal Not Expected To Deter Sky From Bidding For EPL Matches

    Disney’s $66B offer for the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, including its 39% stake in Sky, "has raised questions about the broadcaster’s strategy" when the next round of bidding for the U.K. rights to the EPL kicks off in February, according to Garrahan, Fildes & Ahmed of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The Disney-Fox deal "will take at least a year to win approval" from U.S. regulators, so it will "not have been cleared in time to sway what is expected to be a multibillion-pound auction." Both Sky and BT "are expected to submit bids" in the latest tender for football matches to run from '19-22, though the league’s execs "were playing down the prospect of a similarly large surge in value" this time around even before news broke about the Disney-Fox deal. This likelihood "increased with the recent signing of a content-sharing arrangement" between BT and Sky, which will start in '19. UBS analysts wrote in a research note, "With this reciprocal content deal, we think there is limited incentive for either Sky or BT to bid aggressively in the auction." While this "may affect the price Sky is prepared to pay" for the EPL, Mediatique analyst Mathew Horsman said that Sky "cannot afford to lose its grip on the rights." He said, "It is too unsafe for Sky, whether it is owned by Disney or Fox, to rely on a wholesale arrangement with BT to deliver sport to its customers. Sky cannot afford to not have direct ownership of the rights. The margins are nowhere near as good and the risks are huge." A "significant clause in the Premier League’s tender for bids suggests it is already thinking of new media in its future." The league said that its new rights packages would be available on a "technology neutral basis." This is "widely seen as an invitation" to digital companies. Execs at Sky "have privately suggested that they would not be able to match the financial might of Silicon Valley giants should they compete for live sport" (FT, 1/2).

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  • Aussie Shows Including 'Talking Footy,' 'The Footy Show' Face Upheaval

    Australia's "Talking Footy," "The Footy Show," "Footy Classified" and "On the Couch" are in a "state of upheaval amid the biggest shake-up in TV footy shows in the past decade," according to Colin Vickery of the HERALD SUN. "Talking Footy" panelists Luke Darcy, Tim Watson, Wayne Carey and Sam McClure are reportedly worried that Channel 7’s Monday night footy panel show will not "be back" in '18. The concerns come after Eddie McGuire’s JAM TV, the maker of "Talking Footy," took over production of "The Footy Show" on Channel 9. Seven’s management "is said to be unhappy with the arrangement," believing there is a "conflict of interest." Insiders at Seven insist that "Talking Footy" will be back "but say that a number of rival production companies are in the mix to take it over." It "could also be made in-house." A new member of "Footy Classified" was "expected to be announced before Christmas" but that has been delayed. Rumors "are swirling" that Chris Judd will replace Garry Lyon alongside Matthew Lloyd, Caroline Wilson and Craig Hutchison. Others have suggested that Wayne Carey "could be lured" from "Talking Footy." Journalist Damian Barrett "is also on the short-list" (HERALD SUN, 1/2).

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  • Media Notes: Horse Racing Ratings Up For Every Race Besides Grand National

    Viewing figures for ITV's first year carrying horse racing showed "the impact that the channel has made in the first 12 months of its four-year contract to cover the sport." Every Festival "bar the Grand National has shown an upswing in ratings, compared with those on Channel 4." ITV "is adamant, however, that the drop in viewers for the world’s most famous race was because of hot weather." The channel finished '17 "on a high," with figures for the year’s last broadcast, from Newbury on ITV4, "matching those from its first show at Cheltenham on the main channel on New Year’s Day" (LONDON TIMES, 1/1).

    Channels under the Discovery and Eurosport banner "will remain on DNA" after an agreement was reached between the channels and the Finnish operator. Their distribution "had been put at risk" after the latest Discovery carriage fee standoff. The new agreement covers terrestrial, cable, IPTV and mobile distribution (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 12/30).

    Mediaset España will not broadcast Copa del Rey matches
    when the tournament resumes on Wednesday, "as it believes the agreed upon terms are not being met." Its deal with rights holder Mediapro included coverage of two round of 16 games, two quarterfinal games and four games in the two-legged semifinals (MARCA, 1/2).

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