Channel 4 CEO David Abraham is preparing a bid for the TV rights to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympics, but "could be derailed by a BBC plan to snatch back the rights," according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. If Channel 4 can win the bid for the U.K. TV rights to the event, Abraham said that he is hopeful of retaining Clare Balding, who was "highly praised for her presenting work" during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Channel 4's coverage of the London Paralympics "attracted record viewing figures." The success has pushed Channel 4 to bid for the U.K. TV rights to the Rio Paralympics. Abraham said, "International TV rights are managed by the IPC and we obviously have a very good relationship with them. We are talking to them about how we plan Rio, and how we go about doing that." However, the BBC is "thought to be planning to snatch back the TV rights" to the Paralympics, which it lost when Channel 4 put in a record bid in '10 (GUARDIAN, 10/2).
The Kontinental Hockey League has "struck a deal" with ESPN to broadcast matches from the Russian-based league in the U.S., according to RIA NOVOSTI. The KHL covers six countries and is "widely regarded as the second-best hockey league" in the world after the NHL. In a statement, the league said the deal covers the "current KHL championship." The first KHL match on U.S. TV will be champions Dynamo Moscow against former champions Ak Bars Kazan on Wednesday, which is "likely to feature" Washington Capitals player Alexander Ovechkin. The broadcast agreement also covers Britain (RIA NOVOSTI, 10/2).
Netball South Africa has "announced a five-year broadcast partnership with SuperSport" to broadcast live netball beginning next year," according to Sapa of the SOWETAN. The broadcaster, which covered eight matches of the int'l Diamond Challenge series in August, announced Monday that it "would focus its coverage on the national senior team and the new Netball Premier League." Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa said, "I have always said that netball is the sleeping giant of South African sport and now finally it can take its rightful place alongside the major codes." NSA hopes the move would ensure it "did not lose players to foreign countries" as it happened in the past (SOWETAN, 10/2).