The ABC "will not broadcast, or report live from," the coming Australian Test cricket series in India, according to Michael Bodey of THE AUSTRALIAN. In a "major break from tradition," the public broadcaster has chosen not to pay broadcast rights to the Board of Control for Cricket in India or send a journalist. The ABC "was willing to send" commentator Jim Maxwell to cover the series as a reporter, but the BCCI determined he could "not report from any of the Indian grounds as the ABC was not paying for rights." He was only allowed to "file reports to Australian radio from outside venues." An ABC spokesperson said that the broadcaster "would make representations to the Indian high commissioner to protest against the BCCI's decision." The ABC "baulked at paying for broadcast rights, which also sharply increased for this series, after the BCCI and the local broadcaster asked for an additional sum, believed to be in the tens of thousands, for hire of ground facilities including the commentary boxes." The "Indian brouhaha has pleased many within ABC Local Radio as pressure continues to mount to push cricket coverage to digital and online radio." Meanwhile, the ABC's sports department "is increasingly frustrated" at the budget restraints placed on it in other areas, including news and TV drama (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/12).
German private TV channel kabel eins "again pulled weak ratings" for its Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) broadcast on Sunday, however, the numbers are "heading in the right direction," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTEN METER. A total of 260,000 viewers tuned in to watch the pregame coverage and the first quarter of the BBL game between Bayern Munich and Alba Berlin. The number translated into a market share of 3.1% and 3.4%, respectively. During the second and fourth quarter, the game was watched by 360,000 viewers, while the third quarter attracted 300,000 viewers. The market share for the three quarters was between 3.1-3.8%. Kabel eins' basketball ratings continue to be below average, however, the numbers for Sunday's game "were above those of the channel's November broadcast, which obtained less than 2% in the target demographic 14-49" (QUOTEN METER, 2/11).
HOCKEY HISTORY: QUOTEN METER's Weis also reported German sports channel Sport1 "received satisfying ratings" for its broadcast of the Olympic qualification game of the German national hockey team on Sunday. The game, which started at 3pm German time, attracted 360,000 viewers. Germany's 3-2 overtime win against Austria was not enough and the team failed to qualify for Sochi 2014. It is the first time that Germany failed to qualify since '48. The game received a market share of 2% overall and 1.7% in the target demographic (QUOTEN METER, 2/11).
BIATHLON BOOM: DWDL's Alexander Krei reported German public broadcaster ARD "scored top ratings with its coverage of the Biathlon World Championships." An average of 4.11 million viewers tuned in on Saturday to watch the men's sprint race. The number equaled a tremendous 31.5% market share. Following the men's race, the women's sprint attracted 4.26 million viewers, which translated into a 24.1% share. In the target demographic, the race obtained a 12.2% share. Even "more people tuned in on Sunday to watch the women's pursuit race." A total of 4.69 million viewers watched Norwegian Tora Berger win pursuit gold. The men's pursuit race attracted 4.55 million viewers (DWDL, 2/11).
BUNDESLIGA KEEPS ROLLING: DWDL's Krei also reported German pay-TV network Sky Deutschland "received high ratings for its broadcast of Saturday's top match" between Bayern Munich and Schalke 04. The game attracted 1.11 million viewers. In the target demographic, Bayern's 4-0 victory obtained a very strong 6.5% share. In addition, Sky's simulcast of all six Bundesliga afternoon games on Saturday was watched by 1.13 million viewers. German public broadcaster ARD "also scored high ratings" with its Bundesliga-"Sportschau" highlight show on Saturday evening. The show was watched by a season-high 5.98 million viewers and recorded a 20.1% market share (DWDL, 2/11).
COPA HISTORY: In Spain, La1's broadcast of the basketball Copa del Rey final between FC Barcelona Regal and Valencia Basket was watched by 1.9 million viewers and a 12% market share. The game was "the most-watched" in the entire competition, beating out the quarterfinal between FC Barcelona Regal and Real Madrid, which had 1.82 million viewers. Overall, 5.98 million people followed the Copa del Rey on TV this year (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 2/11).
CRICKET CRAZY: In Sydney, Michael Bodey reported preliminary OzTAM ratings revealed that "Nine's coverage of the dead one-day cricket match between Australia and the West Indies managed 1.078 million for its evening session." Nine had a 23.1% channel share, and a 28.9% network share, against Seven's 26.7% channel share (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/11).
A U.K. source revealed that NBC Sports "will use native U.K. announcers" for its coverage of the Premier League from '13-16. NBC execs were in London last week "to present their coverage plans" to the league. NBC Chair Mark Lazarus said to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch: "We will be authentic to the land of the EPL." The Premier League was reportedly "very impressed by NBC's coverage plans" (EPL TALK, 2/11). ... ARD Werbung Sales & Services (AS&S), the marketing arm of German public broadcaster ARD, "has been satisfied with the start of the new year in regard to sports marketing." In addition to the Bundesliga-"Sportschau," the Handball World Championship and winter sports "have also helped to increase revenue." In comparison to the last Handball World Championship, the revenues for this year's tournament "have almost doubled." In additon, the Bundesliga-"Sportschau" has been able "to increase its revenue by 40% in comparison" to Jan. '12 (DWDL, 2/11).
STAY A WHILE: STAR India's new sports website, starsports.com, "has recorded the highest time spent by users on any sports website per visit." Visitors have spent as much as 19 minutes per visit and "viewed 342 years-equivalent of video in the first month" of the site's launch, "unprecedented for a cricket website" (Indian BUSINESS STANDARD, 2/6). ... The Australian Football League has selected video distribution company Rightster to launch live AFLTV, a subscription service providing access to live and on-demand AFL games to fans outside of Australia and New Zealand. AFLTV will be the only int'l service that offers access to every AFL match live and on-demand during the upcoming season (AFL). ... The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) has announced it will continue its long-term cooperation in Japan with the NHK Global Media Services. Under the latest agreement, NHK Global Media Services will have exclusive rights to broadcast the UCI Road World Championships, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics in Japan in '13 and '14 (UCI).