The Spanish Basketball League (ACB) will be broadcast in Russia starting with the upcoming playoffs thanks to Russian cable leader NTV Plus, according to the EP. The ACB is now aired in 101 countries on four continents. ACB Dir General Albert Agustí "showed his satisfaction" and said, "With Russia we cover the last of the big territories we identified as part of the objective of our international expansion project. We began in '06 without a single international distribution and seven years later the Liga Endesa is present throughout most of the world." Agustí also "highlighted the channel that will cover the new territory." Agustí: "The TV partner is always a determining factor, and in this sense, the association with NTV Plus guarantees us that our visibility in the territory will be the best possible" (EP, 5/23).
BT is hoping to make "volunteering the next social movement," after signing up as the first commercial partner of the Olympic legacy charity Join In, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Join In is a government-backed charity launched after the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, with the aim of running sports and other social events which tap into the fervor generated by the Olympics. The charity is headed up by former LOCOG Marketing Dir Greg Nugent and ex-ITV CEO Charles Allen. BT will "work closely with Join In to raise the profile of volunteering over the coming months and will provide volunteering opportunities at sports clubs and community groups" across the U.K. (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 5/23).
Seven West Media has netted the domestic broadcast rights for two "star-studded football matches" featuring ManU and Liverpool to be played in Australia, "as Ten Network's bid for Cricket Australia's media rights prompts soul-searching at rival Nine Network," according to Darren Davidson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Seven West Media Chair Kerry Stokes's company is understood to have acquired the rights to the A-League All Stars game against ManU and Melbourne Victory's match with Liverpool, "both to be played in July." Seven paid close to A$1M ($976,000) for the two-game package "after Fox Sports and Ten Network showed early interest but decided against making a firm offer." Media buyers said that advertisers "would pay a premium to advertise during the ad breaks in the one-off matches, which have already sold out." Seven "will screen the match on its primary channel, its digital channel 7mate, online, and on tablets and mobile devices" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/24). In Melbourne, Tom Smithies wrote it means "an A-League presence on free-to-air TV for the first time since Channel Ten showed David Beckham's LA Galaxy against Sydney FC" in '07 (HERALD SUN, 5/23).
TOUGH DECISION: Also in Melbourne, Robert Craddock wrote Channel Nine CEO David Gyngell "faces one of his biggest calls after being advised by key shareholders to drop out of the bidding for Australian cricket rights." Gyngell's sentimental link to Nine's 36-year hold on the rights "has become the pivotal factor of the final days of a protracted bidding war between channels Nine and Ten." Two U.S.-based hedge funds that are Nine's key shareholders believe that "the station should withdraw from the bidding" rather than match Ten's A$500M bid for the rights to int'l and domestic cricket. Such has been the ferocity of the bidding war that the station who gets the rights "will make a substantial annual loss, though the promotion of other programs and the status of being the national cricket broadcaster is significant compensation" (HERALD SUN, 5/24).
Barcelona was honored at the Social Star Awards 2013 as the best club in the world on social networks. Barcelona was one of four finalists including ManU, Chelsea and Real Madrid. The club's new technologies Dir Dídac Lee said, "This is a prize for each and every one of the fans and followers who give their unconditional support to Barcelona, game after game. This is just another example that Barcelona is the most beloved club in the world" (SPORT, 5/23). ... German documentary I Want To Run -- The Toughest Race In The World, Le Mans: Chasing the Dream, Blue Horizon, Soufian: Leo Messi's Idol and other movies will be showcased during the two-day Qatar Sports Film Festival, which is being organized jointly by The Youth Company and the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum. It is the first event of its kind in the region (GULF TIMES, 5/22). ... The Int'l Cricket Council Thursday announced the official event website for the ICC Champions Trophy, which will be staged in England and Wales from June 6-23. The site is accessible on any device at www.icc-cricket.com (ICC, 5/23).