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Volume 6 No. 235


Abu Dhabi Media "has secured the exclusive MENA region broadcasting rights" for the '13 F1 World Championship for the fourth year in a row, according to GULF NEWS. Abu Dhabi Sports will broadcast all 19 of the upcoming F1 races from around the world, starting with the '13 season opener in Melbourne, Australia from Friday until Sunday. All races will be broadcast live "on free-to-air Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya +2." Abu Dhabi Sports subscribers "can also follow the entire event in HD on Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya +6" (GULF NEWS, 3/14).

Starting in April, La Liga’s weekly free-to-air match "will change ownership," according to FRECUENCIA DIGITAL. In a transfer agreement with multimedia group Mediapro, the free-to-air game, previously issued to Marca TV, has been purchased by Mediaset Spain. The first game aired by Cuatro, the channel which will air the games the rest of the season, will be Betis vs. Getafe at 10:00pm on Monday, April 1. Mediaset Spain will work under the same conditions as the previous deal with Marca TV. This means the broadcaster “will not be allowed to show games involving teams participating in the Champions League or Europa League and no matches of FC Barcelona or Real Madrid” (FRECUENCIA DIGITAL, 3/13).

German public broadcaster ZDF "recorded Wednesday's top rating with its broadcast of the Champions League game between Bayern Munich and Arsenal," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTEN METER. An average of 9.32 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2nd leg of the round of 16 matchup, which started at 8:45pm German time. The game obtained a 30.2% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, Arsenal's 2-0 victory attracted 3.08 million viewers, which translated into a 25.5% share. Despite the loss, Bayern Munich advanced to the competition's quarterfinal stage as it won on away goals (QUOTEN METER, 3/14).

Netball, the sport not rated as ''premium'' content by former rights-holder Channel Ten, "will retain a free-to-air presence this year through a multi-year agreement to share the ANZ Championship and Test matches between SBS and Fox Sports," according to Linda Pearce of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Netball Australia is set to announce a deal with SBS "to televise one match live every Sunday plus highlights packages." Confirmation of the Foxtel arrangement "was delayed by some minor contractual manoeuvring." The pay-TV network held the Australian rights for the trans-Tasman competition in its inaugural season, '08, "before being outbid by the Ten Network in what, for netball, had been a landmark free-to-air deal facilitated by the launch of the sports channel One HD." The delay in confirming both deals is believed to be centered "around the division of matches" (SMH, 3/15).