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Volume 6 No. 217


Australia's Ten Network CEO Hamish McLennan said that the broadcaster "is not likely to bid for broadcast rights to the upcoming summer and winter Olympic Games," according to the AAP. McLennan said, "At this point in time it looks unlikely -- the only thing that would change it would be price expectations." Australia's three major free-to-air networks have "reportedly all walked away from bidding for the rights to broadcast the 2014 Winter Olympics, taking place in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil." The Nine Network's "costly experience" showing the London 2012 Games is behind the broadcasters' hesitation (AAP, 4/9).

As the 2013 MotoGP World Championship kicked off Sunday in Qatar, audiences in numerous key markets reached some noteworthy numbers, according to MotoGP. Spanish TV saw its Tele5 broadcast "increase by a whopping 44.6% over last year’s audience for the race with 4.5 million viewers, with a peak of 5.2 million, taking a 25.2% of the country’s audience share." Meanwhile, Italian TV, bolstered by the highly anticipated return of Valentino Rossi, "saw audiences go up to 5.28 million – peaking up to 6.63 million -- for the race under the floodlights with a 17.5% broadcast share." Viewership also saw "a humungous increase in British audiences, as nearly 75% more people tuned in over the previous year, with 1.7 million viewers witnessing the action, during which figures peaked at 2 million." Germany "turned up in force once again," with 410,000 MotoGP fans. In addition to the regular TV broadcast, the MotoGP season-opener "was also available on over 40 planes featuring Sport24, the 24/7 live sports channel produced and distributed by IMG Media exclusively for the in-flight and in-ship markets" (MOTOGP, 4/9).

Japanese broadcaster NHK plans to "record its 'Super Hi-Vision' 8K coverage of the figure skating and opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and to begin domestic 8K satellite tests to coincide with the 2016 Summer Games hosted in Rio," according to Giardina & Pennington of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. NHK aims to "launch an 8K broadcast service in Japan by 2020." However, it said it has "no plans to test Super Hi-Vision at the World Cup in Brazil 2014." NHK Senior Manager of Planning and Coordination Masakazu Iwaki said, “There are political issues surrounding rights [to the World Cup]. We do not have rights. FIFA and Sony would like to make a 4K World Cup and we are not the 4K team" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 4/8).