BBC Radio will "continue its coverage of live horse racing" until at least '16, starting with this year's Cheltenham Festival, according to the BBC. Broadcaster Derek Thompson is set to "join the BBC Radio team for the four days of racing" from March 12-15. Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra's Cheltenham coverage will "ensure that all 27 races are broadcast live." The new four-year deal will "cover major race meetings from Britain and overseas." BBC Radio's Cheltenham coverage will be "enhanced by the addition" of '98 Gold Cup-winning jockey Andrew Thornton, along with Paralympian and broadcaster Kate Grey. There will be live text commentaries every day of the Cheltenham meeting on the BBC Sport website, "including audio streams of all the races, and a comprehensive results service" (BBC, 2/18).
German public broadcaster ZDF "had a successful winter sports weekend and obtained top ratings with its broadcasts," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. The women's mass start race at the Biathlon World Championships was watched by 4.69 million viewers on Sunday and received a 29% market share. The following men's mass start race attracted even more viewers with 5.29 million and obtained a 26.9% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, the two biathlon events recorded a market share of 17% and 17.4%, respectively. In addition, the men's slalom decision at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria attracted 4.29 million viewers. The race received a 24.5% market share (DWDL, 2/18).
BALL GAME: DWDL's Krei also reported German free-to-air TV channel Sport1 "obtained mediocre ratings" for its broadcast of the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) game between Bayern Munich and Würzburg. The game, which aired at 8pm local time on Saturday, attracted 160,000 viewers and a market share of 0.5%. In the target demographic, the game recorded a 0.7% share. In addition, pan-European broadcaster Eurosport received a 0.3% market share in the target demographic for its coverage of the handball Champions League game between HSV Hamburg and RK Partizan. Overall, the game was watched by 140,000 viewers and had a 0.5% market share (DWDL, 2/18).
German private-TV channel Tele 5 "has signed on as a sponsor of Team Togo for the Nordic World Ski Championships." Tele 5 Head of Marketing & Communication Thomas Auer said, "Tele 5 stands for unconventional and unique ideas. And that is exactly what Team Togo is. Therefore we want to contribute our part to the success of the project and cross our fingers for JayJay." The 27-year old Gervacio Madja, aka JayJay, "will represent his country in cross-country skiing" -- despite the fact that "he stood on skis for the first time in his life only four weeks ago" (DWDL, 2/18). ... German pay-TV channel Sky "will show short live look-ins of football games to promote its product on free-to-air TV channels." The new marketing idea "will launch on Tuesday night" with the Champions League matchup between Bayern Munich and Arsenal in London (EXPRESS, 2/18). ... Brasileiro club Corinthians has reached 3.5 million fans on Facebook. The club announced the news through its website (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 2/18). ... Resurrection Fighting Alliance has announced organizational, promotional and event plans for '13 along with the signing of a TV distribution deal with AXS TV. RFA President Ed Soares plans for the up-start mixed martial arts promotion to host up to 10 events this year (RFA).