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Volume 6 No. 215
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IOA Suspension, NRL Broadcast Deal, Del Piero Effect Top 2012

The SBD Global staff compiled the top sports business stories globally of '12, in no particular order. Here are the top stories from Asia and Australia.

IOC THREAT TO FRUITION: The IOC suspended the Indian Olympic Association, following its resistance to meet the int’l body's demand to comply with the Olympic Charter. In defiance to the IOC’s request, the IOA went ahead with its elections that have previously been marred by corruption. India's Sports Ministry asked the IOA to cancel elections, nonprofit Clean Sports India applauded the suspension and the country’s athletes lashed out at the IOA for allowing the ban, which halts all IOC funding. In the wake of the suspension, the Amateur Boxing Federation and Archery Association of India both lost official recognition.

AUSSIE BROADCAST DEALS: The land Down Under saw major broadcast deals in the year '12. The NRL raked in the biggest haul through its more than A$1B TV deal with Nine and Fox Sports for the next five years. The league also signed a deal with IMG Media for int’l coverage, and the Wallabies signed on with Ten for a free-to-air TV deal. And, just weeks ago, telecom company Telstra and the ARLC established a media joint venture to report on the NRL, as part of a sponsorship and digital rights partnership worth more than A$100M. The A-League raked in a A$160M deal for Fox Sports, Foxtel and SBS to broadcast its matches, along with the Socceroos' beginning July 1. Fox Sports also signed a three-year broadcast deal with the EPL, gaining coverage of every match from ’13-16. The contract is believed to be worth more than the estimated A$28M Fox Sports paid for its three-year deal with the EPL. The Twenty20 Big Bash League will be shown on free-to-air TV for the first time under the terms of cricket's new A$400M broadcast-rights deal with Nine.

THE DEL PIERO EFFECT: Italian Alessandro Del Piero signed with A-League Sydney FC, becoming the highest-paid footballer of any code to play in Australia with a two-year deal worth A$4M. The club went on to break its record in memberships, game attendance and media ratings. Fox Sports logged 109,000 watching Del Piero's debut match. The club expects to make more than $A5M off his jersey sales. Following Del Piero's move, Mediaset Premium in Italy acquired the rights to broadcast 27 of the A-League's games.

NOT MADE IN CHINA: China’s top football and basketball league saw a number of foreign players travel east to continue their career, increasing media coverage and hype. Chelsea’s Didier Drogba joined Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua, receiving more than $300,000 a week, making him the sixth highest paid player in the world. Since he joined, the club has seen a 30% increase in home game crowds. Disagreement between Owner Zhu Jun and shareholders resulted in players not receiving their salary on time. However, Drogba did not waiver in loyalty to his new home. The Chinese Basketball Association saw the addition of former NBAers Tracy McGrady and Gilbert Arenas. McGrady signed a one-year contract reportedly worth $1M with the Qingdao Eagles, and Arena for $700,000 with the Shanghai Sharks.

SALARY CAP RESOLUTION: When the NRL TV broadcast deal was signed in August, discussions began to increase the $A5.5M ($5.7M) salary cap, with talks reportedly reaching up to $A6.5M for five years. Stalemate caused talks amongst the players to boycott next year's Indigenous All Stars gam. The league outlined annual increases that would see the cap rise to A$6.8M in '17, but players balked at the offer. Players and officials are now close to signing an agreement. A salary cap of about A$5.8M next year, changes to the marquee player allowance, improved insurance and a minimum wage of A$80,000 are believed to be part of a new CBA.