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Volume 6 No. 212


English rugby "will be asked to agree to a broadcasting revolution that would see coaches sharing tactics and game plans with television commentators before matches," according to Hugh Godwin of the London INDEPENDENT. The "radical proposals" are being put forward by BT Vision. The company is paying close to £1B ($1.6B) to become major players in football and rugby, and will pitch a series of innovations to the 12 Premiership coaches this month. The "taboo-busting ideas" include teams revealing elements of their gameplan to TV commentators -- who would be sworn to secrecy -- and players being filmed in training practising their moves. These would be compared to match footage to "show if they worked." Other innovations to the English game include "players being interviewed as they come off the field at half-time or go into the sin-bin, and a camera in the pitch to give a worm's-eye view of scrums." Premiership coaches said that they "were keeping an open mind ahead of face-to-face meetings with BT producers in the next fortnight." Leicester Tigers' Dir of Rugby Richard Cockerill said, "I think clubs would be open to it. You have to build the game and build the brand and build support within the game." London Irish coach Brian Smith said: "I'm all for innovation and I'll wait to see what is proposed. But I'm pretty sure the coaches would guard their tactics jealously. I wouldn't be keen on sharing our thought process or detailed preparation. It's sport, it's not Big Brother" (INDEPENDENT, 1/20).

ESPN has visited Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) club Alba Berlin "to shoot footage for its four-part TV series 'Basketball Capitals of Europe,'" according to Sebastian Arlt of the BERLINER MORGENPOST. The show that features cities with an affinity for the sport "will also include Madrid, Athens and Istanbul." ESPN "stopped by at the first team's practice as well as at the practices of the club's youth teams." The U.S. sports network "also conducted interviews with club insiders and visited Alba's Euroleague match-up against Panathinaikos Athens on Wednesday evening," which Alba lost 79-73 (BERLINER MORGENPOST, 1/18).

The first gameday of the second half of the '12-13 Bundesliga season "rewarded pay-TV Sky with great ratings on Saturday afternoon," according to Manuel Nunez Sanchez of QUOTEN METER. An average of 1.4 million viewers tuned in to watch Sky's simulcast of all five Bundesliga games on Saturday afternoon. The broadcast, which started at 3:30pm local time, obtained a 8.2% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, Sky obtained a 11.2% share. Saturday's Bundesliga top match between Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund, which also aired on Sky, was watched by 950,000 viewers. The game, which started at 6:30pm, received a 6.2% market share in the target demographic. German public broadcaster ARD's Bundesliga gameday summary show "Sportschau" attracted 5.4 million viewers. The number equaled a 21.3% share. In the target demographic, the Sportschau, which aired a 6:30pm, "obtained an outstanding" 16.6% market share. (QUOTEN METER, 1/20).

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS: QUOTEN METER's Sanchez also reported that Eurosport's Africa Cup of Nations broadcast on Saturday "received low ratings and could not compete with the Bundesliga." Eurosport's broadcast of the opening game between South Africa and Cape Verde was watched by 110,000 viewers. The game, which started at 5pm German time, obtained a 0.5% market share. In the target demographic, the scoreless tie was watched by 10,000 viewers or a 0.2% share. Following the South Africa vs. Cape Verde game, Eurosport aired the game between Angola and Morocco at 8pm. The second game, which also ended 0-0, attracted 80,000 viewers or a 0.3% share. In the target demographic, the game was watched by 40,000 viewers, which also equaled a 0.3% share (QUOTEN METER, 1/20).