In Spain, Wednesday's Iberian clash between Spain and Portugal turned into the "TV show most watched in history" when it went to penalties, according to AS. During the 13-minute penalty shootout, 18.1 million people were tuned in to Telecinco's broadcast or a 83.3% share. From the start of the match to the end of the shootout, the average audience was 14.2 million or a 75.6% share. The "overtime period increased the audience" to 16.5 million or a 77.1% share. The "most watched minute" occurred when Cesc Fabregas converted the "decisive penalty" to put Spain into the Euro final. At that time, 19.1 million people were tuned in or a 87.3% market share (AS, 6/28).
PORTUGAL: A BOLA reported that the game was the most-watched TV program "in the last eight years" in Portugal. An average of 3.7 million people watched SIC's broadcast of the game or a 74.8% share. The peak audience came during the PK shootout when 4.6 million people tuned in to watch the outcome (A BOLA, 6/28).
GERMANY: The SID reported that "close to 20 million" people watched ZDF's broadcast of Wednesday's semifinal match. ZDF's coverage attained a 62% market share. With a total of 19.6 million viewers it was "the highest rated Euro 2012 game that didn't feature the German national team" (SID, 6/28).
FRANCE: BOURSIER.com reported that in France, 8.8 million people watched M6's broadcast of the clash between their neighbors from the south or a 39% share (BOURSIER.COM, 6/28).
NBCUniversal is "expected to lose money on its coverage of the London Olympics," though NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus "declined to predict how steep the losses could be," according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. Lazarus said, "The jury is still out, we don't know where we'll end up." NBCU is paying $1.2B for the TV rights to the Games, and Lazarus said that NBC sales execs "have been busy this year selling advertising time for the company's unprecedented coverage." NBCU is "planning 5,535 hours of coverage on nine channels," 2,000 more hours than the net provided for the 2008 Beijing Games. Lazarus said, "We're not predicting that we will necessarily be profitable." He added that in addition to ad sales, the company "receives financial contributions from TV station affiliates and cable and satellite TV providers, which helps defray its costs." Lazarus: "The deal we made for the four Games will be a profitable deal for us when the final score comes in" (L.A. TIMES, 6/28). In Philadelphia, Bob Fernandez noted NBC Sports execs "dampened expectations that TV viewership for this summer's London games would top that of the 2008 Beijing Games, but said national TV advertising sales are running about $100 million ahead of Beijing." Lazarus said, "I would love to match those scenarios, though it's unlikely. We are not measuring ourselves against Beijing." NBCU President of Research & Media Development Alan Wurtzel projected that the London Games "would fall within the top-five TV events of all time, with total viewership of more than 200 million Americans over 17 days." NBC has sold $950M in advertising for the games, and Lazarus said that "those national ad sales could reach $1 billion." The comparable number for Beijing was $850M. Lazarus said that NBC "would not lose as much money as the entertainment conglomerate had originally projected" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/28).
DIGITAL REVOLUTION: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wroteNBC's plans in London "represent a break from the past and a continued embrace of it." Every event "will be shown live, online at NBColympics.com." Live events also will "be seen on the NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC in the mornings and afternoons." But in "prime time, NBC's broadcasts will be on tape." NBC has been "moving toward a digital Olympics, a bit fitfully, and somewhat fretfully, since '08." But now, it "appears to be a wholehearted shift to the digital present." Lazarus said, "As times have changed there is a sense to satisfy all people with technology. And the ability to provide live streams of every event is one that we now have." NBC's Bob Costas suggested that the Olympic business model former NBC Sports Group Chair Dick Ebersol "championed was not wrong -- and that criticism of it was off base." Sandomir wrote NBC "did what it had to do, with its dependence on prime-time advertising to finance its rights fees, and without billions of dollars of ESPN-like subscriber fees, to pay its Olympic rights fees." But NBC's "adherence to a business model that made sense internally did not mean that fans, and those who are paid to watch, were wrong in registering their dismay at taped sports events and minimal live streaming." Sandomir: "Technology, and corporate ownership, have clearly altered NBC's Olympic course" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/28).
UEFA has awarded all free-to-air media rights for the '12-15 UEFA Champions League in Georgia to Georgian Public Broadcaster and Rustavi 2. Georgia Public Broadcaster and commercial broadcaster Rustavi 2 will each broadcast every matchnight one live match on 1 Channel and on Rustavi 2, respectively. In addition, 1 Channel will show a highlights program on Tuesday and Rustavi 2 a highlights program on Wednesday. All rights have been granted on a platform-neutral basis, with the rights also being exploited on the Internet, via www.1tv.ge and www.rustavi2.com, and on mobile (UEFA).
MORE RIGHTS AWARDED: UEFA also announced media rights for the '12-15 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in Bosnia and Herzegovina to BHRT and Telekom Srbija. In addition to the recent announcement of free-to-air broadcaster OBN being awarded the best-pick live match each Wednesday, pay operator Telekom Srbija has secured the rights to all remaining matches including, on a co-exclusive basis with OBN, the final and the Wednesday semifinals. A comprehensive selection of the matches will be broadcast live across the Arena Sport family of channels. Additionally, free-to-air broadcaster BHRT has been awarded, on a co-exclusive basis with Telekom Srbija, media rights to the best-pick match each Tuesday. The live match and highlights programme will be broadcast each matchweek on BHT1, FTV and RTRS (UEFA).