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Volume 6 No. 212


Broadcaster TVN will control the media rights for New South Wales and Victorian thoroughbred clubs "in a landmark deal for Australian racing," according to the AAP. An agreement to aggregate the media rights of all thoroughbred clubs "in Australia's two strongest racing states" was signed on Dec. 24. Under the agreement, TVN will hold the rights to broadcast thoroughbred racing in NSW and Victoria until '28 (AAP, 12/26). In Sydney, Ray Thomas reported Sky Racing now has three channels televising racing, while TVN "concentrates on the premier gallops meetings." It is "anticipated Sky World will cease operation when existing contracts expire" in June, but Sky Racing 1 will retain its wall-to-wall service that broadcasts live coverage of the nation's three racing codes. Race meetings that "cannot fit into the premier broadcast will continue to be shown on Sky Racing 2." The exclusivity arrangements that prevent Sky or TVN from having presenters on course when they don't have the broadcast rights for those meetings "are expected to be waived, so racing can be showcased to a wider audience." Racing NSW Chair John Messara said a restructured TVN would bring together the NSW and Victorian racing industries in the "most meaningful partnership in each of our long histories." Messara: "The new structure will ensure that TVN showcases our racing product in an optimal fashion under new advertising and editorial policies" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/26).

CLEANING HOUSE: In Sydney, Chris Roots wrote the aggregation deal "effectively saved TVN and should allow the sport to move on from the ugly brawling of the past decade." Part of the deal will be a sweep-out of management at TVN. Mark II of the channel "will be put in place in the next month with a board of eight members." Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club will have two seats each, while the four shareholders from Victoria will each have one seat. There will be an independent chairman, "most likely former News Ltd. CEO John Hartigan," as well as a new CEO, "who has extensive media experience, and there is a possibility of an experienced offsider joining him" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/31).

German pay-TV channel Sky Deutschland has extended its media rights deal with the U.S. PGA Tour for another three years through '15. The agreement provides Sky with the exclusive live TV rights to the tour in Austria and Germany. In addition to the live TV rights, Sky also secured the IPTV and mobile rights to the PGA Tour. Sky Sport Dir Burkhard Weber said, "The rights extension with the U.S. PGA Tour continues Sky's role as the No. 1 golf channel for the upcoming years. After [German golfer] Martin Kaymer's switch from the European Tour to the U.S.-based Tour, his German fans will be able to continue to follow him live and exclusive on Sky." The agreement consists of more than 40 events including The Players Championship in May, the Tour Championship in September and the Presidents Cup in October in which the U.S. plays against the rest of the world excluding Europe every two years (Sky Deutschand).

Sky Deutschland "was the share with highest increase in value on the German stock index MDAX," which includes the country's top 50 mid-cap, non-technology sector companies. Sky Deutschland shares were able to increase their value drastically and "finished '12 with plus of 202.3%." The extensive speculations and hopes for positive numbers "resulted in a run on the shares from investors." The MDAX index "was able to increase its value by 36% in '12" (WALL STREET ONLINE, 12/31). DER AKTIONÄR's Thomas Bergmann reported Sky Deutschland "has extended its contract with CEO Brian Sullivan for another two years." Sullivan has been Sky's CEO since April 1, 2010 and his contract is set to expire at the end of Dec.'14 (DER AKTIONÄR, 12/28).

Doping scandals have not "dampened Canadian broadcaster interest in the prestigious French cycling event," the Tour de France, according to Etan Vlessing of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Cable sports channel Sportsnet "has signed a six-year agreement to air the Tour de France, starting in '14 and stretching to '19." That deal "will follow rival cable sports channel TSN completing its current rights deal" for the top Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) world cycling tour event. Sportsnet "will also add the Canadian TV, digital and mobile rights to all 21 stages of the Tour de France to earlier-acquired broadcast rights for other grand tours, including the Giro d’Italia, the Tour of California and the Vuelta a España" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 12/27).

German public broadcaster ZDF obtained Sunday's afternoon top rating with its winter sports broadcasts, according to David Grzeschik of QUOTEN METER. The first of four events of ski jumping's annual Vierschanzentournee from Oberstdorf, Germany, which started at 3:45pm local time, attracted a total of 5.45 million viewers. The number equaled a 27.1% market share, which gave ZDF the highest rating of the afternoon. In the target demographic 14-49, the event was watched by 1.4 million viewers or a 19.5% share. Prior to the ski jumping event, ZDF aired men's and women's cross-country skiing races. Men's and women's cross-country skiing, which started at 1:50pm, attracted 2.28 million and 1.61 million viewers, respectively. The numbers equated a market share of 13.8% for the men's race and 10.7% for the women's race (QUOTEN METER, 12/31).

BULLSEYE: QUOTEN METER's Grzeschik also reported the semifinals of the World Darts Championship on Sunday evening resulted in good ratings for private German TV channel Sport1. An average of 570,000 viewers tuned in at 8pm German time to watch Phil Taylor win his semifinal match against Raymond van Barneveld. The number equaled a 1.9% market share. In comparison to the channel's average market share of 0.8%, it was a very strong rating. In the target demographic, Sport1 attracted 350,000 viewers or a 3% share (QUOTEN METER, 12/31).