The Austrian football Bundesliga "revealed that it has agreed to a new TV-rights deal with pay-TV channel Sky and public broadcaster ORF," according to Alexander Strecha of the KURIER. The new deal increases the league's TV income from €17M ($22M) to €20.2M ($26.1M) a year. The league signed a three-year deal with Sky including an option for an additional two years. It also signed a five-year deal with ORF including an opt-out clause after three years. Bundesliga Chair Georg Pangl said, "First of all, I was surprised that an agreement was reached that fast. Second, I set myself a goal of €20M ($25.9M). Officially, I'm bound to silence, but we'll have a beautiful Christmas." The initial amount of €17M will be split in the same way as last year: 65% will go to the Bundesliga, 22% will go to the Erste Liga (First League) and 13% will go to the Bundesliga's headquarters. In addition, €3M ($3.9M) will from now on go to the Bundesliga (78%) and Erste Liga (22%). ORF will show a total of 36 live games on free-to-air TV, while Sky will show all league matches live (KURIER, 12/7).
ManU Manager Alex Ferguson fears his club's challenge to take the Premier League title back from Man City in the second half of the season could be undermined by "ridiculous" TV scheduling, according to Steve Tongue of the London INDEPENDENT. Ferguson wants the TV companies to avoid scheduling ManU games for Saturday lunchtime kickoffs after an away game in Europe. Assuming ManU advances past the first knockout stage of the Champions League, it then immediately faces weekend fixtures against Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea in addition to a potential FA Cup semifinal. Ferguson: "If you go back to the year we lost to Chelsea, we played away in Europe in midweek and then played a lunchtime game against Chelsea on the Saturday and they battered us. It was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous." Sky Sports and the Premier League declined to comment, but are "understood to dispute the notion that clubs have no say in scheduling." They say the process is that TV companies "make their selection of dates and kick-off times, which are then passed to the clubs, who can argue against them if they feel strongly enough" (INDEPENDENT, 12/9).
Former Scotland Daily Record journalist and BBC pundit James Traynor was unveiled as the director of communications at Scottish Third Division club Rangers, according to Chris Marshall of the SCOTSMAN. The 59-year-old Traynor, who signed off from 37 years as a sports writer earlier this week by launching a "scathing broadside at fellow journalists," will oversee the Ibrox club’s media strategy when he takes up his role in the new year. A former associate editor of the Daily Record as well as the presenter of BBC Radio Scotland’s Your Call, Traynor used his final newspaper column to label bloggers and journalists "despicable, pathetic little creatures" over their coverage of Rangers’ financial problems. Traynor will be "supported by Rangers’ own in-house media team as well as Media House, the PR agency led by the former editor of the Scottish Sun Jack Irvine." Traynor’s appointment means he will "no longer present" BBC Scotland’s phone-in show Your Call. The BBC said that a new program would replace it (SCOTSMAN, 12/8).