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Volume 6 No. 216


EPL Stoke City striker Michael Owen, who will retire from football at the end of the season, "is expected to become a BBC television and radio pundit," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Owen "can consider himself fortunate to have the Beeb as likely employers when his occasional appearances on Match of the Day this season have not impressed rival channels." BT Sport "could have been expected to jump at the chance to sign such an illustrious footballer as Owen." But the world inside BT headquarters in the Olympic Park is that "Owen’s 'monotone' displays on the BBC have been considered 'poor,' although it will help Owen’s Beeb future" that its lead presenter Gary Lineker "has been supportive." The first confirmed pundit appointment for Owen is at Royal Ascot (DAILY MAIL, 3/19).

Euroleague Basketball has reached an agreement with Spanish national broadcaster Televisión Española (TVE) to televise the remaining '12-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague games of Real Madrid. The deal also includes the broadcast of selected games of other Spanish teams participating in the competition, through the company's all-sports channel, Teledeporte. This is the ninth straight year that the top European competition will be available through TVE channels. The agreement also includes the possibility of extending these rights for the next two seasons (Euroleague).

Australian racing channel TVN "is in turmoil following the withdrawal of the candidature" of Chair-elect John Hartigan, the former News Ltd. CEO, and the subsequent resignation of the interim Chair Bill Lenehan, a former Channel 10 exec, according to Ken Callander of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. TVN's CEO Peter Sweeney "also finishes this month." It is understood the TVN board will "endeavour to change Hartigan's mind." In his letter of resignation Hartigan mentions "mistrust at board level and he also hints strongly at interference." He wrote, "The level of mistrust at a board level is something that has manifested itself in a shareholders agreement which has shackled the business and caused it to be unable to properly exploit the commercial opportunities on a day to day basis." TVN is half-owned by the Australian Turf Club in Sydney. The three Melbourne metropolitan race clubs "own the other half" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/21).

European Super-bantamweight champion and Northern Ireland supporter Carl Frampton launched the Irish FA/RNIB Soccer Sight Digital initiative. The Soccer Sight initiative put in place at Windsor Park has allowed many blind and partially sighted people to follow matches through audio description. This has enabled spectators with sight loss to enjoy the internationals and domestic matches in a whole new way. Soccer Sight Digital is a football access project designed to improve access to football at all levels for blind and partially sighted people. The new digital equipment is funded by the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (Irish FA).