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Volume 10 No. 22


The 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow will now be shown by the BBC after Channel 4 "agreed to transfer its rights to the broadcaster," according to the BBC. The '13 championships "will be the first of three" on the BBC with deals in place for Beijing in '15 and London in '17. Channel 4's Martin Baker said the move "reflects the changing nature of both broadcasters' sports portfolios." Channel 4 made a deal in March to be the "sole terrestrial broadcaster" of U.K. horseracing between '13 and '16. Dir of BBC Sport Barbara Slater said that the agreement demonstrated the corporation's "commitment to athletics, guaranteeing a major championship every year until '17" (BBC, 12/13).

U.S. broadcaster Discovery is "moving into sports programming," paying £134M ($170M) for a 20% stake in Eurosport, with an option to "take a controlling stake in the European company in two years," according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. Discovery's deal to take a stake in Eurosport Group, parent of Eurosport Int'l and Eurosport France, values the business at €850M ($1.1B). Discovery owns such channels as Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet and the Oprah Winfrey Network. As part of the deal, Discovery "has the option to increase its stake" to 51% in two years. If the company does, Eurosport's parent company, TF1, can "exercise a put option" over the remaining 49% that would see Discovery "take full control." Discovery has also taken a 20% interest in four TF1-owned French pay-TV channels -- TV Breizh, Histoire, Ushuaia TV and Stylia -- for €14M ($18M), valuing them at a total of €70M ($92M). Discovery "has the option of increasing that shareholding" to 49% in each channel in two years. The deal is "expected to be concluded in the next few weeks" (GUARDIAN, 12/13).

The Euro 2012 semifinal between Germany and Italy "was the most-watched TV program in Germany in '12," according to the DPA. A total of 27.99 million viewers tuned in to watch ARD's broadcast of Germany's 2-1 loss. Forty-two of the top 50 most-watched sport TV programs are football games. The most-watched program that is not a football game is the heavyweight bout between Vitali Klitschko and Dereck Chisora with 12.92 million viewers at No. 16. The most-watched London Games event was Germany's victory in the men's beach volleyball final, which attracted 8.06 million viewers (DPA, 12/13).

German private-TV channel Sat.1, which holds the Super Bowl rights for '13 and '14 in Germany, "will also live broadcast the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 20, starting at 12:10am local time." In addition, the channel "will show a game summary of the NFC Championship Game and both games will also air online on" (QUOTEN METER, 12/12). ... German free-to-air TV channel Sport1 has launched an app for Xbox360 (Sport1). ... Sports channel Ten Sports has extended its support to the 18th edition of Aircel Chennai Open as the exclusive official broadcast partner. The channel has bagged exclusive rights to air the tennis tournament in India (Ten Sports). ... Broadcaster Sky Sports has sealed an eight-year deal with West Indies Cricket to show England's next four tours to the Caribbean. The agreement features all Test, One Day Int'l, and Twenty20 int'l matches played in the region until '20 (Sky Sports).