ESPN reporter-presenter Rebecca Lowe "has landed a big broadcasting job in America as the lead host of NBC's coverage of the Premier League," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Lowe is going to be based at NBC's new headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut "where she will anchor five live games over a Premier League weekend." The highly-rated Lowe is understood to have had more than one offer from the U.S., with ESPN "having been keen to retain her services." Lowe's three-year contract "covers the length of their rights agreement" (DAILY MAIL, 3/26). NBC PRO SOCCER TALK's Michael Prindiville wrote Lowe began her career in England in '02 by working at talkSPORT, a "football-heavy," 24-hour sports radio service broadcast from London to the U.K. She broke into sports TV by winning the '02 BBC Talent Search for a football reporter, "outlasting a field of 650 candidates." She thereafter spent the next five years at the BBC "where she was a critical contributor to the network's key football programs." A "pioneer of female television broadcasters in world football," Lowe became the first woman to host the FA Cup Final in the '12 contest between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium (NBC, 3/26).
The China national football team's Asian Cup preliminary match aired on China Central Television for the full 90 minutes live, "in a sign the sport is witnessing resurgence on the national stage after years of being plagued by scandal," according to the CHINA DAILY. China beat Iraq in the second round, 1-0, with a goal in stoppage time. CCTV-1's daily primetime news program Xinwen Lianbo, which is regarded as China's "most authoritative broadcaster," reported the game result the following day. On Friday, the on-spot report "featured pre-game images and China's preparation work minutes before the game kicked off." The whole game was screened live. CCTV's sports program, CCTV-5 Dir General Jiang Heping said that it "was the first time that Xinwen Lianbo broadcast a pre-game report of the team" (CHINA DAILY, 3/26).
Wales int'l footballer Gareth Bale has signed a three-year deal to become a BT ambassador. The Tottenham Hotspur wingman will feature in TV adverts for the new BT Sport channels as well as regularly appearing as a guest. Bale has built on his relationship with BT by agreeing to act as an ambassador for the next three years. Bale starred in BT’s TV ads in '10 when the company started selling Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to its customers (BT). ... The Premier League announced that MTV MEDIA has been awarded audio visual broadcast rights for all 380 Barclays Premier League matches per season for three seasons beginning in '13-14 in Finland (EPL). ... German private-TV channel Sat.1 "is reportedly interested in acquiring" the media rights for the European U21 Football Championship, which takes place in Israel between June 5-18 (DWDL, 3/25). ... German sports network Sport1, which recently acquired the Internet and mobile audio rights to the Bundesliga, "plans to establish a radio channel." Sport1, which currently operates a free-to-air TV channel and a sports website, "wants to create an audio program surrounding the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga that would also include formats known from its TV channel" (DIGITAL FERNSEHEN, 3/25).