Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. boosted its share of Australia's pay-TV market after shareholders in Consolidated Media Holdings "voted in favor" of a A$2B ($2.1B) takeover offer from News," according to Victoria Thieberger of REUTERS. The deal will "double the stake" of News Corp.'s Australian arm in dominant pay-TV operator Foxtel to 50% and give it 100% of content provider Fox Sports. Citi Analyst Justin Diddams said, "Foxtel and Fox Sports are going to be two cornerstone assets in the News Corp. publishing business after the demerger, and I assume the market will put fairly healthy multiples on those assets." CLSA Analyst Digby Gilmour said in a note to clients last week that after the takeover of Consolidated, pay-TV would contribute 39% of News Corp.'s publishing company revenues in fiscal '14. Gilmour estimated that Fox Sports would contribute 11% of publishing group earnings before interest, tax and depreciation in fiscal '14. The half-share of Foxtel would contribute 17% (REUTERS, 10/31). In N.Y., Gavin Lower reported that the deal will Friday go to Australia's Federal Court, which its approval investors "see as a formality," before being completed on Nov. 19. News Corp. will include Foxtel and Fox Sports, as well as its Australian newspaper assets, in its publishing arm, which "is being split from the entertainment arm." The entertainment arm "will include other broadcast networks, as well as film and TV production studios" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/31).
British broadcaster BSkyB's advertising revenue declined 10% in the third quarter of '12 following the impact of the London 2012 Games, according to Maisie McCabe of MEDIA WEEK. However, overall revenues increased 4% after "growth in Sky's wholesale and retail business." Sky's results for the three months to the end of September showed that revenue reached £1.72M ($2.77M) during the quarter, up 3.5% year on year, after growth in its wholesale and retail business offset a "weak quarter for advertising." Ad revenue totaled £95M ($153.3M) during the three months, a decrease of 9.5% year on year. Sky said it was "predominantly due to the market decline this quarter as a result of the Olympics" (MEDIAWEEK.com, 11/1).
German public broadcaster ARD "obtained respectable ratings" with its coverage of the second round of the DFB Pokal (German Cup), according to Sidney Schering of QUOTENMETER.de. ARD's broadcast of the second-round match-up between Fortuna Dusseldorf and Borussia Mönchengladbach attracted 4.81 million viewers and had a 17.4% market share. In the target group, the game was watched by 1.41 million viewers, which was a 13% share (QUOTENMETER.de, 11/1).
FRANCE: SPORTUNE.fr reported that France 3's broadcast of the French League Cup match between rivals Paris St. Germain and Marseille was watched by an average of 4.3 million people. The performance was "largely superior" to the norm for the channel. PSG's 2-0 victory also had a 17.6% share (SPORTUNE.fr, 11/1).
Test Match Special "will broadcast from India" during England’s Test series there, after reaching an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India about access to the grounds, according to Patrick Kidd of the LONDON TIMES. The BBC's "ball-by-ball radio commentary service," which began in '57, had threatened not to cover the series after "unreasonable demands" of £50,000 ($81,000) were made by the BCCI for access to facilities in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur and Calcutta. It is "believed that the BBC has paid the demanded" amount, but it has "refused to make any comment on the negotiations." The tour begins on Nov. 15. (LONDON TIMES, 11/1). In London, Andy Wilson noted the BBC's cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew "became embroiled in a Twitter row" with The Cricketer magazine over the resolved broadcast dispute. Agnew "reacted angrily to the comments" made by The Cricketer Editor Andrew Miller Thursday morning. Agnew tweeted: "I've never read such hypocrisy & assumed knowledge as that spouted by the once great Cricketer magazine today. I won't be reading it again." In the article, Miller had wondered how the BBC got themselves into such an "extraordinary situation...having paid for the rights without checking they would be allowed in...It makes you wonder what they are paying licence-fee payers' money for" (GUARDIAN, 11/1).
Broadcaster beIN Sport "has just signed a contract" with the NBA for the exclusive rights to air the league's games in French territory starting this season, according to Etienne Moatti of L'EQUIPE. The al-Jazeera network will pay around €5M ($6.5M) a year. In order to get the rights, beIN had to beat out competitors Canal+ and Ma Chaîne Sport. The broadcasts "could start as soon as Thursday" (L'EQUIPE, 1/11).
German public broadcaster ARD will cover the Handball World Championships, which will be held in Spain in January, and has released the prices for a commercial during the event. ARD Werbung Sales & Services (AS&S) unveiled that a 20-second commercial during the preliminary round costs between €12,800 ($16,600) and €27,900 ($36,100). The price for a spot in a quarterfinal game that features the German national team ranges from €14,000 ($18,100) to €28,500 ($36,900). In addition, AS&S offers a featured placing for a commercial in the form of a "solo spot" directly ahead of the start of the second half of the game. The price for this special positioning of a 20-second commercial ranges from €19,600 ($25,400) to €24,800 ($32,100) (AS&S).