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Volume 6 No. 214


Pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ has "made an offer" to take the F1 TV rights in France from TF1, according to Stéphane Colineau of LE JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE. After the UEFA Champions League, Ligue 1 and the Top14, another "major sporting competition could fall in the hands of a pay-TV channel." The "serious offer" made by Canal+ for the F1 rights from '13-15  is causing TF1 to seriously consider letting go of the rights. TF1 had been wanting to keep the rights at a lower cost than the current €40M ($51.6M) annually it has to pay. The sport "does not attract audiences like it did during its golden age," and they now plateau at 3 million viewers. Canal+'s interest in F1 is "an indirect consequence of beIN Sport's appearance in the landscape." The Qatari broadcaster took a chunk of Canal+'s Ligue 1 rights as well as TF1's Champions League rights. If beIN Sport is not a candidate for the F1 rights, it is because on Sundays at 2pm local time, "the time of European Grand Prix," it already broadcasts a Ligue 1 match (JDD, 9/23).

The Singapore F1 Grand Prix, the year's only night race, "obtained high ratings" for both free-to-air TV channel RTL and pay-TV channel Sky in Germany, according to Manuel Weis of RTL's broadcast of Sunday's two-hour race "was watched by a very strong" 5.19 million viewers. The peak audience came at 4pm CEST, "as almost 5.7 million people watched Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel cross the finish line." Overall, RTL's race coverage obtained a 33.3% market share and a 29.9% share in the marketing relevant target age group 14-49. In addition, 370,000 people watched pay-TV channel Sky's broadcast of the race, which translates into a 2.4% share (, 9/24).

NUMBERS IN FRANCE UP: TF1's broadcast of the Singapore Grand Prix "largely seduced the public" with 2.9 million viewers and a 21% market share for individuals four years and older. The numbers indicate an increase of 300,000 viewers from last year's event, and also registered "great results amongst the male audience, with a 32% share" (, 9/24).

BUNDESLIGA RATINGS:'s Manuel Weis also reported that Sky's Sunday Bundesliga coverage "was watched by more than 700,000 viewers." The simulcast of Werder Bremen against VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 against 1899 Hoffenheim, which both started at 5:30pm CEST, attracted an average of 740,000 viewers or a 4.6% market share. In the marketing relevant target group, those numbers were only slightly lower with 360,000 viewers and a 3.6% share. Sunday's early game between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen was watched by 410,000 people "despite the simultaneous broadcast of the F1 race" (, 9/24).

Sending Nine Entertainment into receivership would "put at risk vital sports contracts including the record" A$1.1B ($1.15B) deal with the National Rugby League, according to Davidson & Gluyas of THE AUSTRALIAN. Nine management "warned creditors at the opening of crucial rescue talks for the second-placed broadcaster." Nine told its creditors that putting the company in the hands of receivers "would damage its brand and foster negative public and market sentiment." Nine Chair Peter Bush and CEO David Gyngell opened separate two-day meetings with the company's lenders Monday at the Sydney offices of the group's lawyers, Gilbert + Tobin. On day one of the talks, which were described as "amicable and civilised" by insiders, detailed information on Nine's business was discussed and execs painted a picture of the impact of receivership on the media company. The first meeting was attended by representatives of U.S. hedge funds Apollo and Oaktree, Nine's original senior lenders, which are owed about A$600M, and Nine management (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/25).

Zee-owned sports broadcaster Ten Sports has said that it was "close to signing a deal with IMG-Reliance" for the broadcast rights of India's top football league, the I-League, and the annual Federation Cup tournament, according to Indian business conglomerate Essel Group sports business CEO Atul Pande said, "Ten Sports has been supporting I-League for the last six years and will continue to do so if given the opportunity. We are close to coming to an agreement with IMGR." He also denied claims by All India Football Federation senior officials that Ten Sports "backed out of the Federation Cup deal at the last moment thereby leaving the football governing body and the commercial rights holder IMG Reliance in lurch." Pande said that, contrary to rumors, the sports broadcaster will put the property on-air as soon as it gets the feed from IMGR. The production of the property is being taken care of by IMGR. Industry sources report that IMGR is "out in the market for a three-year deal for both Federation Cup and I-League." The negotiation with Ten Sports is stuck because IMGR "feels the value it is being offered doesn't even cover its production cost" (, 9/24).

UEFA has awarded media rights for the '12-15 UEFA Europa League in China to Great Sports Media, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group. Each matchweek, one live match and a highlights program will be broadcast on Great Sports, BesTV and Power Sports. In addition, Great Sports will sublicense each matchweek one live match and a highlights program to free-to-air regional channels Guangzhou TV, Shenzhen TV, Jiangsu TV and CSPN. All rights have been granted on a platform-neutral basis, with the rights also being exploited on the Internet via, as well as on mobile. Additionally, UEFA granted media rights for the Europa League in Finland to Nelonen. Nelonen will broadcast one live match per kick-off slot each matchweek on Nelonen Pro 1 and Nelonen Pro 2, followed by a highlights program on Nelonen Pro 1. The Europa League Final will be broadcast via one of Nelonen’s free-to-air channels (UEFA).