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Volume 6 No. 216


BBC Radio 5 Live, TalkSport and Absolute Radio "have held onto the same Premier League rights as they currently broadcast in the latest three-year radio deal" announced on Tuesday, according to John Plunkett of the London GUARDIAN. 5 Live "will continue to have the first pick of matches at 3pm on Saturday afternoons," with Saturday lunchtime, Sunday afternoon and Monday night fixtures, "making up four of the seven rights packages on offer." TalkSport, "which has made substantial inroads into the BBC's portfolio of live sport in recent years," will broadcast Saturday evening kickoffs and Sunday lunchtime fixtures, two of the seven packages. Absolute Radio "has picked up the seventh," the second choice of kickoffs at 3pm on Saturday afternoons. There "had been speculation that TalkSport could win more live Premier League football with the BBC's sports budgets under pressure" and that Absolute "might move away from live football" (GUARDIAN, 4/9).

UEFA unveiled a series of media rights deals for the European qualifiers of Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. General Secretary Gianni Infantino provided details of the deals while speaking at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester, England. UEFA announced an exclusive agreement for the media rights to the Euro 2016 qualifiers, with the European Broadcasting Union guaranteeing extensive free-to-air coverage of the respective national teams' home and away matches in 30 territories: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Macedonia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Portugal, Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland. UEFA also announced a deal with TRK in Ukraine. CAA Eleven is marketing the centralized commercial rights to the European qualifiers for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, along with the 24-team Euro 2016 final tournament, on UEFA's behalf. UEFA also launched the new brand for the European qualifiers at Soccerex. Infantino officially unveiled the new brand identity, which will be applied to the European qualifiers for the Euro and World Cup. It depicts a national team shirt and a heart in conjunction and the brand essence of "play with heart" is a distillation of how the brand is positioned (UEFA).

BBC Sport "will show live coverage" of the 2013 and 2017 Rugby League World Cups and the 2014 and 2016 Four Nations tournaments, according to the BBC. For this year's tournament, "there will be live TV and radio coverage of all England's group games," plus a quarterfinal, a semifinal and the final. There will also be regular TV highlights programs throughout the tournament and "extensive coverage'' on BBC Radio, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app (BBC, 4/10). The London EVENING STANDARD reported Premier Sports has also added to its Rugby League portfolio "by acquiring rights to show every game live." RLWC2013 Tournament Dir Nigel Wood said, "Premier Sports do a great job for Rugby League showing Kingstone Press Championship, every National Rugby League game and the State of Origin matches. Their coverage will enable fans to see every minute of the tournament live." RLWC2013 organizers also announced that they "are already in talks with both broadcasters regarding confirmation of the schedule" (EVENING STANDARD, 4/10).

Financial service provider HSBC "has signed a deal to become the official broadcast sponsor of BSkyB's Sky Sports coverage of the British and Irish Lions rugby tour to Australia this summer," according to Chloe Smith of MEDIA WEEK. The partnership "will give HSBC-branded opening, closing and centre breaks during all matches, repeats, highlights and support programming." HSBC "will also receive a permanent headline on the Lions Tour page of, and will sponsor Lions-related pages on Sky's mobile platforms, as well as Lions video clips on the website" (MEDIA WEEK, 4/10). THE DRUM reported it "will be the fifth such tour to be shown exclusively by the network" since '97, with 10 matches screened live on TV, mobile, online and tablet devices (THE DRUM, 4/10).

German pay-TV channel Sky "set a new season record" with its broadcast of Tuesday's Champions League game between Borussia Dortmund and FC Malaga, according to Fabian Riedner of QUOTENMETER. An average of 1.18 million viewers tuned in on Tuesday night to watch Dortmund's dramatic last-minute victory. The previous season record stood at 1.17 million viewers. The new record number translated into a 4.1% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, the game attracted 620,000 viewers, which equaled a 5.5% market share. Also in the target demographic, a total of 190,000 viewers or 1.7% watched the game in HD. Overall, 340,000 viewers turned to Sky's HD coverage, which was a 1.2% share (QUOTENMETER, 4/10).