Spanish TV network Mediaset-España "has acquired the rights" to all of the Spanish national football team's matches in '13, according to EL MUNDO. This includes La Roja's friendlies, this summer's Confederations Cup in Brazil and all the 2014 World Cup qualifying matches. The network, through its channels Telecinco, Cuatro and Energy, will air the World Cup qualifiers against Finland (March 22), France (March 26), Belarus (Oct. 11), and Georgia (Oct. 15). TVE previously had the rights to La Roja's matches, but the network "was not able to renew its deal due to financial struggles." The rights to the 2014 World Cup are still up for sale (EL MUNDO, 1/30).
German pay-TV network Sky Deutschland "will continue to broadcast F1 racing until '15," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTEN METER. Sky has extended its TV rights deal with Formula One Management for another three years. Sky Deutschland Chief Officer Sports, Advertising Sales & Internet Carsten Schmidt said, "Following Sebastian Vettel's world championship hat trick, Sky delivers another three pack to the joy of F1 fans. With the extension of our long-standing partnership until 2015, fans will be able to continue to watch the complete grand prix weekend live and in HD on Sky." The fact that Sky extended its F1 media rights for three years is a positive sign -- previously the pay-TV network always signed one-year deals. Sky will once again show all practice sessions, qualifying sessions and races live and in HD (QUOTEN METER, 1/30).
Music and entertainment company RS "is keen on bidding for the media rights to the Thailand Premier League" for the upcoming three football seasons, which "is expected to result in more intense competition for the broadcast rights," according to Watchiranont Thongtep of THE NATION. RS President & CEO Surachai Chetchotisak said, "The Thailand Premier League is one of top three soccer leagues that the company wishes to secure, behind the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga." It "appears that the competition for the broadcasting rights for coming TPL seasons will be high," as music and entertainment company GMM Grammy and Cable Thai Holdings "also aim to acquire them" after TrueVisions' contract with the FA of Thailand under the Patronage of His Majesty the King ends next year. RS aims to use sports program "to strengthen its pay-TV service and attract subscribers" after the service is officially launched in August (THE NATION, 1/30).
SUN COMES THROUGH: In Bangkok, Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn reported RS "will rename its RS Sport La Liga Channel to the Sun Channel." A budget of 50M baht ($1.7M) for this year "will be used to enhance its content for various audiences, but especially men since it mainly broadcasts La Liga football matches." The Sun Channel will also change from pay-TV to semi-free-to-air, "so households receiving broadcast signals from RS's Sunbox set-top boxes can view the channel" (BANGKOK POST, 1/30).
Univision Deportes and ESPN have formalized an alliance to increase the reach of the Mexican national football team in the U.S. The agreement grants ESPN’s English-language networks and digital platforms the media rights to Mexico’s home FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and int'l friendlies. The English-language coverage will complement Univision’s Spanish-language coverage of the Mexican team on broadcast, cable and interactive platforms. As part of the agreement, Univision Deportes and ESPN have secured the U.S. media rights to all of Mexico’s home matches, both qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and int'l friendlies, in Spanish and English respectively. The alliance will also allow Univision Deportes and ESPN to collaborate on special content focused on the Mexican national team. The series of 20 matches began Wednesday when Mexico played Denmark in Phoenix, U.S. Univision Deportes will continue to broadcast Mexican national team matches in Spanish across Univision Network, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network with additional content on its digital and social platforms (Univision Deportes).
Ustream, in a partnership with Premium Sports, will broadcast the Six Nations Championship and Gaelic Athletic Association National League. The Six Nations, which begins Saturday, can be watched for $19.99 per match, or $99.99 for the season. The GAA National League, which features county teams competing in Gaelic football and hurling matches, will be available for $14.99 per match or $69.99 for the season. The championship match will resale for $19.99 (Ustream).
FC Barcelona has unveiled a new online meeting point, FCBfeel.com, where fans can share information and interest about the club. The site is structured into channels, and Barcelona fans can sign up for specific channels or follow the players they chose (FC Barcelona). ... The Asahi Times reported the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will broadcast the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil in 4K, the first such broadcast in the world (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 1/28). ... The Cape Verde football team said that "it is doing its part to promote the Portuguese language" by refusing to give interviews in any other tongue at the Africa Cup of Nations (REUTERS, 1/30). ... The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) will provide free, live broadcasts of the Cyclo-cross World Championships on its YouTube channel. The UCI channel will provide additional live coverage of the World Championships and World Cup events in the road, track, BMX and cyclo-cross disciplines (UCI).