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Volume 6 No. 212


The BBC "has added the rights for the upcoming England Ashes tour to Australia to its extensive portfolio of cricket coverage on Radio 5 Live's Test Match Special," according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. The BBC "has struck an exclusive deal to provide ball-by-ball radio coverage of the Ashes tour," which runs from Nov. 21 to Jan. 7, and "has unveiled a series of programmes including Andrew Flintoff's Ashes Roadshows." The BBC "has now all but sewn up cricket radio rights" to '19, following a six-year deal last January for England's int'l cricket matches, including two home Ashes Test series against Australia and exclusive coverage of all other domestic Test and one-day matches during the period to '19 (BBC, 5/16).

Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas said that Barcelona and Real Madrid "are open to collectively selling broadcast rights in La Liga, but only if their income does not decrease," according to FOOTBALL ESPAÑA. The top two clubs currently account for a 50% share "of the total amount broadcasters pay out to La Liga's clubs each year." According to the LFP's newly-elected President, Barça and Madrid may be open to reducing that percentage share, "if the clubs grouped together to sell broadcast rights in a collective deal, but only if their actual earnings do not drop." Tebas: "The television rights will be sold together in the '15-16 season or the following one. ... But, any kind of collective agreement is implicit that Madrid and Barça charge €136M ($175M) per year for the rights for League and Cup matches, hence they will not see a decrease. The current total rights is €800M ($1.03B), I believe it will reach €1B ($1.2B). The international market may be important, but not greatly so, there are only three that have the ability: Murdoch, Carlos Slim and Al Jazeera" (FOOTBALL ESPAÑA, 5/16).

Online viewership of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League "has surpassed last year's record figures by 52%," according to the ECONOMIC TIMES. Midway through the T20 cricket tournament, after 38 matches, "there has been a 52% growth in combine viewership" over '12 (75.2 million vs. 49.3 million last year). Times Internet Ltd., the official digital partner of the IPL, said that "the combined viewership of match highlights and clips grew 480%." TIL is live streaming the matches in partnership with YouTube (ECONOMIC TIMES, 5/16).

German free-to-air TV channel kabel eins "has recorded top ratings for its broadcast of the Europa League final between Chelsea and Benfica," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. Kabel eins attracted a total of 2.58 million viewers to the game's first half on Wednesday night. The first half of the final, which started at 8:45pm German time, had a 10.1% market share. A total of 3.26 million viewers tuned in to watch the game's second half, which started at 9:45pm German time. In the target demographic 14-49, Chelsea's 2-1 victory obtained a 14.1% share. In addition, German pay-TV channel Sky attracted 360,000 viewers to its broadcast of the game, which translated into a 1.1% market share. In the target demographic, Sky obtained a 2% share (QUOTENMETER, 5/16).

EUROPE LEAGUE: ISPORTCONNECT's Jay Stuart reported the Europa League final was No. 1 in Spain "on Cuatro with 2.705 million viewers and a share of 15.2% (rising to an impressive 4.357 million for the post-match)." The game in Amsterdam "also topped the Dutch ratings for RTL 7 with 1.886 million and a share of 28.2%." In France, the match on W9 "pulled 1.917 million and a share of 7.4%, a good score for a digital channel." In Italy, Rete 4's telecast "was fourth in primetime with 2.431 million and a share of 8.48%" (ISPORTCONNECT, 5/16).

HOCKEY IN AUSTRIA: In Vienna, Peter Karlik reported Austrian public broadcaster ORF "has received high ratings for its broadcasts of the games of Austrian national hockey team at the world championship." The team's afternoon games "attracted a peak audience of 200,000 viewers, which equaled a market share of 19%" (KURIER, 5/15)

The Olympic Council of Asia has concluded a broadcasting deal with Ten Sports to show the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea and four other Asian Olympic Competitions. The deal was brokered by MP & Silva. The rights package includes: 2013 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, Incheon, South Korea; 2013 Asian Youth Games, Nanjing, China; 2013 Asian Games Centennial Festival, Boracay, Philippines; 2014 Asian Beach Games, Phuket, Thailand and 2014 Asian Games, Incheon South Korea. Ten Sports is reaching more than 55 million homes across the Indian subcontinent. The deal with Ten Sports will include access to all programmed transmission hours to all the OCA events listed above. This is the second time that Ten Sports will broadcast the Asian Games (Ten Sports).

The Int'l Paralympic Committee announced on Thursday that it will live stream next week's 2013 IPC Powerlifting Open European Championships in Aleksin, Russia. A complete schedule of the events you can watch live from the Championships can be found on the IPC's website (IPC). ... Singapore football fans "are fuming over yet another service breakdown by SingTel's mio TV during Wednesday morning's crucial English Premier League match between Arsenal and Wigan" after they were unable to get their set-top boxes to start up ahead of the 2:45am kick-off (STRAITS TIMES, 5/15). ... Mexico TV will broadcast live the final match of the "Liga de Ascenso" (Promotion League) MX 2013. The winning team will enter the First Division of the Mexican soccer league. Team Neza will face La Piedad in the final broadcast live Saturday at 1pm EST (Mexico TV). ... The website of Sports Direct, the retail company owned by EPL Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley, has apologized for "publishing a story suggesting that the club were trying to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, admitting that it was untrue" (GUARDIAN, 5/15).