BT has launched a communications hunt thought to be worth up to £3M ($4.7M) as it "prepares for a huge investment in sport to boost its struggling digital TV service," according to John Owens of PR WEEK. BT has launched a multi-million-pound pitch process for pay-TV service BT Vision as it "attempts to increase its below-target subscriber numbers." The brief seeks to capitalize on BT’s £738M ($1.2B) deal to screen Premier League football over the next three seasons and the '13 launch of channels BT Sport 1 and 2, with a third sport channel "rumoured to be in the pipeline." A senior agency source said that sport would be "positioned at the centre of the firm’s TV proposition, as part of a wider effort to draw in customers through bundles of broadband, TV, telephone and mobile by one provider." It is thought that initial comm work "will focus on the build-up and launch of the two channels" -- set to go live next summer -- as well as "promoting the channels for a further six months" (PR WEEK, 11/21).
Media organizations have called on the International Cricket Council to intervene in a dispute over media coverage restrictions of the Test series between India and England, saying the row is "damaging the game," according to the AFP. The News Media Coalition, writing on behalf of a group of news agencies, newspapers and publishers, urged the ICC to "use its influence and global standing'' to persuade the Board of Control for Cricket in India to lift restrictions that have triggered a text and photo blackout of the series. Media outlets including AFP, Reuters and the AP have all suspended text and photo coverage of the four Test series due to the BCCI's decision to ban photo counterparts such as Getty Images and Action Images. English newspapers have also "refused to publish live pictures" either in their online or print editions, instead "running file images or even spoof cartoons" (AFP, 11/21).
German pay-TV channel Sky "was able to break the 1 million viewers mark for the first time during this Champions League season," according to Uwe Mantel of DWDL. An average of 1.1 million viewers tuned in to Sky to watch its broadcast of the 1-1 draw between Bayern Munich and Valencia FC on Tuesday night. The number equals a market share of 3.4%. In the target demographic 14-49, Sky attracted 580,000 viewers, which was a 4.9% share. Sky's season-average share in the target demographic for its Tuesday Champions League broadcasts was 3.7% (DWDL, 11/21).
SPAIN: VER TELE reported that La 1's broadcast of the Champions League encounter between Valencia and Bayern Munich was watched by 4.2 million people and a 22.3% share. The "golden minute" occurred at 10:31pm local time when 5.6 million viewers were tuned in and a 26.3% share (VER TELE, 11/20).