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Volume 6 No. 211


In France, pay-TV group Canal+ has acquired the media rights to F1 for €29M ($38.7M) annually, according to L'EQUIPE. The news "will strike the F1 world like a small earthquake" after free-to-air channel TF1 had held the rights since '92. The contract is for three years and will go into effect on March 18 (L'EQUIPE, 2/14). SPORTUNE's Marc Limacher wrote F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone was asking for €40M ($53.4M) annually and had "two offers on the table." TF1's offer was for $20M ($26.7M) annually. The company was paying €31M ($41.4M) a year since '06 for the rights, but audience numbers have decreased from 3.5 million in '10 to "only" 2.5 million viewers in '12. Canal+ initially offered €27M ($36M) but ended up increasing its proposal to €29M (SPORTUNE, 2/14).

WALKING ON WATER: LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR's Jérôme Lefilliâtre opined Canal+ is "walking on water." Not long after renewing its rights for the Premier League, the pay-TV channel has now "acquired a prestigious victory by nabbing the F1 rights." It is another "significant investment" for the group, which will pay between €150-200M ($200-267M) for the EPL rights and already spends €420M ($560) "a season for French football" (LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, 2/14).

English-language network ONE World Sports has entered into a licensing agreement with free-to-air broadcaster Nippon Television Network Corp. to bring Japanese baseball team Yomiuri Giants to fans in North America. The Yomiuri Giants are the reigning champions of the Nippon Professional Baseball league and are often known as "The New York Yankees of Japan." The agreement provides ONE World Sports exclusive North American rights to broadcast 72 Giants regular season games in '13 through TV and broadband, from March 29 through September. As Japan's oldest team, the Giants are known for nearly three decades of legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh as a player and manager. Oh has most recently served as recruiting territory for the MLB. Int'l Business Development Divisional VP Yukiko Kimishima said, "There has always been a strong connection between the Nippon Professional Baseball and U.S. Major League Baseball, and this new agreement allows the team great exposure in the United States" (ONE World Sports).

Channel 4 is building "on the success of last year's London Paralympic Games to secure a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rio de Janeiro" in '16, according to Arif Durrani of CAMPAIGN LIVE. Winning the TV rights for the Paralympics in Brazil and the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia in '14 "is another milestone for the resurgent broadcaster." It comes on the back of "brokering a more favourable airtime deal with WPP’s Group M after a very public stand-off at the start of the year." It is the first time the Int'l Paralympic Committee "has awarded a two-Game deal to any TV station, and comes despite the BBC’s best efforts." It is also significant, from a remit and prominence point of view, that the BBC "has been ousted again by C4 as the flag-bearer for minority voices." The commercial broadcaster’s record audiences for London 2012 and its award-winning "Meet the Superhumans" campaign "are credited with positively changing attitudes to disability among more than two-thirds of those surveyed after the Games." The broadcaster now hopes "to build on this, and any commercial partners will have the opportunity to similarly play a lead role" (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 2/14).

German public broadcaster ZDF "obtained Wednesday's top rating" with its broadcast of the Champions League round of 16 matchup between Borussia Dortmund and Shakhtar Donetsk, according Manuel Weis of QUOTEN METER. The game, which started at 8:20pm German time, was watched by 7.52 million viewers. The 2-2 draw recorded a 24.6% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, the game attracted 2.32 million viewers or a 19.4% share. In addition, 510,000 viewers tuned in to watch the game on German pay-TV channel Sky. The game received a 1.7% market share and a 2.1% share in the target demographic (QUOTEN METER, 2/14).