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Volume 10 No. 22


The decision of "which free-to-air television network will air" the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics could be announced as early as Friday, according to Darren Davidson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Seven is currently "the only major network believed to have shown interest." The IOC is taking final bids "but could postpone the auction for the Australian broadcast rights by months due to a lack of competitive tension." Viewers "will almost certainly be watching the Olympics on a different free-to-air broadcaster," after the Nine Network pulled out of the bidding process. Nine's "strategic withdrawal left Seven as the frontrunner," with the Ten Network "said to be lukewarm, and pay-TV operator Foxtel mindful of overpaying" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/8).

Disney is "exploring an exit" from the U.K. TV sport market after ESPN "lost several big broadcast deals including live Premier League football," according to Plunkett & Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. ESPN, Disney-owned and the largest sports broadcaster in the U.S., "was all but unknown in the U.K. until its launch three years ago on the back of a deal to screen 46 live Premier League games a year." But the channel's threat to BSkyB's dominance "proved short-lived after it was outbid for the latest Premier League rights by BT." ESPN "has also lost other key sports contracts" in the U.K. including Serie A, Ligue 1, Major League Soccer and Premiership Rugby (GUARDIAN, 2/6). In London, Matthew Garrahan reported Disney CFO Jay Rasulo said on Disney's first-quarter earnings call ESPN had "experienced losses" in the U.K. due to the ramping up of sports-rights costs and was "exploring an exit" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/6). An ESPN U.K. spokesperson said: "We have been saying for some time that we are exploring a range of potential options for our business. We are not going to discuss specifics" (VARIETY, 2/6).

German public broadcaster ARD "obtained Wednesday's top rating for its broadcast of the int'l friendly between France and Germany," according to Sidney Schering of QUOTEN METER. A total of 9.22 million viewers tuned in to watch Germany's 2-1 victory. The game, which started at 9pm CET, received a 30.1% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, Germany's first victory on French soil after 78 years attracted 3.11 million viewers or a 25.5% share (QUOTEN METER, 2/7).

FRANCE: Broadcaster TF1 had an average audience of 6.5 million and a market share of 26.6% for its coverage of the France-Germany clash in Paris (20MINUTES, 2/7).

SPAIN: Channel Cuatro's broadcast of Spain's 3-1 victory over Uruguay in Doha, Qatar was watched by an average audience of 3.3 million and had a 23.7% share. The most-watched minute occurred at 8:43pm local time when 5.148 million viewers were tuned in, and the channel obtained a 30.4% share (VERTELE, 2/6).

The Jordan FA signed an agreement with IMG Media Ltd., "granting it full rights to broadcast the national team’s matches outside Jordan for the Asian Cup finals." Under the $300,000 deal, the company will also have the right to broadcast the team’s friendly matches in '13 and '14 (JORDAN TIMES, 2/6). ... German private TV channel kabel eins "has extended its TV rights deal with the ADAC GT Masters racing series." The channel "will broadcast all races of the '13 and '14 season live and exclusive in Germany, Austria and Switzerland" (MOTORSPORT MAGAZIN, 2/7). ... Sri Lanka Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has "rejected a request" made by a Sri Lanka Cricket chairman, to provide broadcasting rights of all int'l matches played in Sri Lanka to sports channel Ten Sports. Sources added that the request by the chairman has been rejected by the Minister, "as proper tender procedures were not followed" (CEYLON TODAY, 2/7).