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Volume 6 No. 215


Less than 24 hours out from the start of the competition, the National Rugby League and Sky "have agreed in principle on a new broadcast deal," according to the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. The NRL Premiership, U20's competition and State of Origin "will all be shown on Sky." It is "not known how long the deal is worth, with Sky expected to be seeking a multi-year agreement" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 3/7). The NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW reported the partnership will be formally announced at midday Thursday. Sky TV CEO John Fellet has "so far refused to comment on the value of the deal," but the Sydney Morning Herald put the broadcaster's previous one-year deal at A$14M ($14.4M). The draw of Sonny Bill Williams' return to league is said to "have pushed up the price" by A$1M. The NRL signed a five-year, A$1.025B deal with Foxtel and Channel 9 on Dec. 12, roughly double the previous deal signed in '05. Total Australian broadcasting rights package pumped up to A$1.25B "by radio rights, online rights and other extras" (NBR, 3/7).

Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport "has reached a new three-year agreement with Italian media company RCS Sport regarding its cycling events," according to Patricia Schätzler of QUOTEN METER. As part of the deal, Eurosport "will receive the TV rights for the Giro d'Italia and four other important cycling events in '13." The new agreement "will see an increasing number of HD productions." All stages of the Giro will be produced in HD. Eurosport "will also increase its amount of Giro live coverage from currently two hours per day to three." The other races "will receive a two-hour window per race day." In addition, the new deal includes increased digital media rights, which "will see all races available as live streams on the Internet, mobile devices and Eurosport Player." The new agreement started with the broadcast of the Strade de Biance on March 2 (QUOTEN METER, 3/5).

ITV's coverage of ManU being knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid "attracted an average of 10 million viewers" in the U.K. Tuesday, according to John Plunkett of the London GUARDIAN. It was "the most-watched Champions League match on ITV" since 11.1 million people watched ManU beat Chelsea on penalties in the '08 final. Full coverage of Tuesday's match attracted an average of 9 million viewers for a 35.2% share between 7:30pm and 10pm local time. The game had a five-minute peak of 10.96 million viewers, averaging 9.8 million viewers "during the course of the match itself" (GUARDIAN, 3/6).

SPAIN: EUROPA PRESS reported free-to-air channel La1's broadcast of the match was watched by an average audience of 9.8 million viewers and a 45.4% share. Overall, 17.5 million people tuned in to watch at least a minute of Madrid's 2-1 victory. The "golden minute" occurred at 10:23 local time when 12.2 million viewers were tuned in and a 51.9% share (EUROPA PRESS, 3/6).

GERMANY: QUOTEN METER's Patricia Schätzler reported German pay-TV channel Sky "recorded top ratings for its broadcast of Tuesday Champions League games." An average of 1.08 million viewers tuned in to watch either Sky's simulcast of both games or an individual game. The number equaled a strong 3.8% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, the matchups between ManU against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund against Shakhtar Donetsk attracted 590,000 viewers, which translated into an excellent market share of 5.8%. Following the conclusion of the games, Sky aired summaries of both matches and recorded a 3.9% market share in the target demographic with 250,000 viewers tuned in. Overall, the summaries of Dortmund's and Madrid's victories attracted 380,000 viewers or a 2.3% share (QUOTEN METER, 3/6).

F1 practice sessions which air live on BBC will also be shown live on network TV, according to the BBC. There will be around 40 extra hours of network output, "with practice generally shown on BBC Two and BBC Two HD." BBC One and BBC One HD will show nine live races, including those in Canada, Great Britain and Brazil, "with extended highlights of the remaining races." The BBC Sport website will broadcast a simulcast of the TV and radio output, and at live races "will also have the 'driver tracker', on-board cameras and a pit-lane stream" (BBC, 3/6).

The European Handball Federation and sports marketing agency Infront Sports & Media have announced a new record level of TV coverage of the men’s and women’s EHF European Championships, both held in venues across Serbia. A total cumulative TV audience of 1.85 billion followed the EHF’s flagship events in '12, which were transmitted by 75 licensed broadcasters into more than 200 countries and territories. The coverage of the biennial events increased by 35% compared to the '10 figure. An upward trend was also registered in broadcast time, with 3,060 hours achieved, compared to 2,670 in '10 (Infront Sports & Media).