Pan-European sports channel Eurosport "received above average ratings with its live broadcast of the Australian Open women's final" on Saturday morning German time, according to Manuel Nunez Sanchez of QUOTEN METER. The women's final between Victoria Azarenka and Li Na, which started at 9:30am German time, was watched by an average of 100,000 viewers. The number translated into a 1.4% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, Azarenka's victory attracted 20,000 viewers, which equaled a 0.8% share. Both shares are above the channel's average share of 0.6% overall and 0.4% in the target demographic (QUOTEN METER, 1/27).
AFRICAN AFFAIR: QUOTEN METER's Sanchez also reported Eurosport's broadcast of the Africa Cup of Nations preliminary game between Algeria and Togo on Saturday evening "obtained weak ratings." The broadcast, which started at 7pm German time, attracted only 70,000 viewers. The game received a 0.2% market share. In the target demographic, Togo's 2-0 victory was watched by 20,000 viewers or a 0.3% share (QUOTEN METER, 1/27).
After the Nine Network pulled out of the race for the Australian broadcasting rights, viewers "will almost certainly" be watching the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics on a new free-to-air broadcaster, according to Darren Davidson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Nine's "strategic withdrawal leaves Seven West Media in pole position" to become the free-to-air broadcaster for Rio 2016. It is believed Nine dropped its pursuit of the rights after "incurring an estimated" A$25M ($26M) loss as the broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympics. The Olympics has a "vacuum effect" on the advertizing market, with brands "laying low during an onslaught of advertising campaigns from official sponsors." The IOC may have to "take a haircut on the price it obtains for the Australian rights due to the lack of competitive tension." A decision is expected by the end of February (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/28).
The New Zealand broadcast rights "are set to be the last piece" of a A$1.2B ($1.25B) financial puzzle left to be solved when newly hired National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith begins work next week, "with most players understood to have voted for a new collective bargaining agreement," according to Walter & Kilgallon of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The NRL "may be forced to start the season without a new television deal in New Zealand as negotiations with Sky NZ drag on." Sky NZ CEO John Fellet "indicated he was confident of retaining the rights," but the NRL "is considering a deal with a free-to-air broadcaster." Sky NZ paid A$14M to broadcast the league's matches, as well as all of the New Zealand Warriors' U20 games, and "officials believe the rights are worth more." NRL interim CEO Shane Mattiske had "hoped all broadcast deals would be finalised by the start of the season" on March 7 (SMH, 1/26).
The German Football League (DFL), the commercial arm of the Bundesliga, has broadened its online presence and launched a Japanese language website. Under www.bundesliga.com/jp fans can access news targeted toward a Japanese audience. The new website will focus on the 10 Japanese players in the Bundesliga. The website is produced by DFL subsidiary DFL Digital Sports (Bundesliga). ... Rupert Murdoch-promoted News Corp., which is in middle of restructuring the sports business in Asia, "has decided to keep the sports broadcasting business under its Indian subsidiary STAR India." The process "started after News Corp. has bought out Walt Disney's 50% stake" in the Asian broadcasting joint venture ESPN STAR Sports for $335M. In the rest of Asian countries, the ESS business "will be under Fox International Channels" (Indian BUSINESS STANDARD, 1/27). ... The NBA and digital sports media group Perform announced the launch of NBA.de, the new online destination for NBA fans in Germany (Perform).