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Volume 6 No. 214


A reality football show being considered by the Australian Football League "would guarantee the winner a spot on a league list," according to Jay Clark of the HERALD SUN. Fox "has put the radical proposal to AFL heavyweights, with plans to film this season." The prize would be a spot on a club's rookie list, "most likely Greater Western Sydney." Collingwood President Eddie McGuire is "behind the project and is slated to host the program." The league has "yet to formally agree to the concept," but it is understood that key officials, including AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, "have tentatively backed" the proposal. Greater Western Sydney CEO David Matthews "welcomed plans to produce" the aussie rules football show. Matthews said, "There have been a number of concepts similar to this proposed over the years, and we think it's an idea that's got merit, and the Giants would be happy to support it subject to AFL approval" (HERALD SUN, 1/25).

Chelsea has "turned down a request" from Sky Sports News for a clip of captain John Terry making a mistake in his comeback game for its U21s against Fulham, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. The channel "requested footage of Terry fluffing a clearance," which had been broadcast in Chelsea TV’s coverage of the game. Instead, Chelsea provided the network with a package of Terry’s 45 minutes of action, which it felt "better reflected his performance, omitting the glaring error they feared would be replayed time and again on SSN’s rolling service." Chelsea can "dictate the terms" of its TV rights because it bought out Sky’s stake in its station for a reported £7M ($11M) last year. Such control of content helps explain why ManU purchased Sky’s one-third shareholding of MUTV this week for around £10M ($16M), although in ManU's case this also allows the club to maximize its digital content with its "global army of sponsors" (DAILY MAIL, 1/23).

Fox Int'l Channels will launch Fox Sports on TV, broadband, mobile and online in various countries in Asia beginning Monday. The launch, which follows News Corp.'s successful acquisition of ESPN's partnership interest in ESPN STAR Sports, will see all ESPN networks renamed as Fox Sports networks across various affiliate platforms in Asia. Going forward, FIC Asia will manage all new Fox Sports networks along with the current STAR Sports, Fox Football Channel, STAR Cricket and STAR Cricket HD networks in the region. The launch signals the introduction of the flagship new channel Fox Sports into the region along with high-definition channel Fox Sports Plus (HD), the 24/7 sports news channel Fox Sports News, the broadband network Fox Sports Play and the mobile service Fox Sports Mobile (FIC).

Sports channel Neo Prime has "sealed the Indian broadcast rights" for the multi-nation 2014 Asia Cup cricket tournament, according to the PTI. In a "hotly contested sales process that saw significant interest from multiple broadcasters," Neo provided the best offer for the event and also secured the first right to renew for the next three Asia Cup tournaments leading up to '20. The rights acquired cover "viewership market of India as well as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka" (PTI, 1/24). IANS reported in India the cumulative reach of the Asia Cup 2012 was 122 million. This "effectively means" that almost 60% of TV viewers in India watched some part of the Asia Cup 2012 (IANS, 1/24).

German free-to-air TV channel Sport1 "has acquired an extensive F1 sub-license from private TV channel RTL," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. The new agreement "encompasses exclusive live broadcasting rights to F1's two free practices on Friday afternoons." In addition to the live broadcast rights, Sport1 "will show summaries of the third free practice and the qualifying session on Saturdays, as well as the race itself on Sundays." Overall, the channel "will broadcast up to seven hours of coverage over the course of a grand prix weekend." The deal is valid for the next three F1 seasons until the end of '16. RTL "will continue to live broadcast the race." Whether Sky "will again acquire F1 rights is yet unknown" (DWDL, 1/24).

German public broadcaster ARD "has obtained record ratings" for its broadcast of the Int'l Handball Federation Men's World Championship quarterfinal matchup between Germany and Spain, according to Manuel Weis of QUOTEN METER. The game "was watched by an average of 7 million viewers" on Wednesday evening, which "made it the highest-watched game of this year's world championship" in Germany. The match, which started at 7pm German time, received a strong market share of 22.7%. In the target demographic 14-49, Germany's 28-24 defeat by the hands of Spain "attracted 2.23 million viewers or a 20.6% share" (QUOTEN METER, 1/24).

Premier League fans "will be able to watch a full rerun of the game of the day each Saturday just three hours after the final whistle" starting next season. The move by Sky Sports "is another huge step forward for the broadcaster," which announced the decision as part of a move to make '13-14 the biggest ever. A three-year agreement is in place, which "will allow subscribers to the channel to watch all 226 top flight matches that are not shown on live television at 8pm on Saturday" (London DAILY MAIL, 1/23). ... U.K. TV audiences "will be offered their first televised taste of roller derby action." The Extreme Sports Channel, which focuses on action sports and lifestyle, has ordered a "factual entertainment" series featuring roller skating action from the London Rollergirls league (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/24). ... ESPN STAR Sports, the official broadcaster of Hero Hockey India League, has said that in its first week, "the league reached" more than 14.6 million viewers (Indian BUSINESS STANDARD, 1/24).