Mediaset España has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights to 25 games of the 2014 World Cup, which will take place from June 12-July 13 of next year, according to the EFE. Mediaset channels will also broadcast the Spanish national football team's World Cup qualifiers against Finland on Sept. 6, Belarus on Oct. 11 and Georgia on Oct. 15, in addition to all of La Roja's friendlies. With this new agreement with FIFA, "Mediaset España will offer live coverage of all of La Roja's games from the start of the upcoming Confederations Cup to the World Cup finals next year, where Spain will fight for a potential second straight World Cup Championship." Mediaset now has the rights to the MotoGP World Championship, the Eurobasket 2013 and the 2014 FIBA World Cup (EFE, 6/11).
A "vigorous crackdown" led by adidas to rid China's largest e-commerce website Taobao of sellers of counterfeit adidas goods has begun to see success, "but small and medium stores continue to flood the website selling the fake products," according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. Taobao closed more than 1,000 counterfeit adidas sellers last year, "but it is still possible to find numerous results featuring the company's products" priced under 100 yuan ($16) after a general search on the website. Hong Po (pseudonym) is a vendor of counterfeit adidas products on Taobao "who had been enjoying a thriving business before receiving a notice from the website in mid-May." After receiving the notice from Taobao revoking his vending license in May, "Hong will now sell sportswear from other famous brands." Several of the vendors "have also managed to circumvent the website's attempts to clamp down on counterfeit goods." Hong: "Many vendors have registered multiple seller IDs, thereby continuing to sell the products despite the closure of one or two of their online stores" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 6/11).
BBC Sport on Tuesday announced the launch of Inspire, a new BBC One Olympic magazine series and broadcast campaign encouraging sports participation across the country, according to the BBC. Inspire: The Olympic Journey will celebrate the biggest names, the rising stars and the unsung heroes of Olympic sport. Presented by Gabby Logan, the series will be accompanied by Get Inspired, a multiplatform, pan-BBC initiative to promote participation and help individuals get more involved in grass-root sporting activities. Alongside the series and campaign, BBC children's TV program Blue Peter has also unveiled a new Sports Badge encouraging sports participation in children. Inspire: The Olympic Journey is a monthly series -- airing on Saturday afternoons -- that will take an in-depth look at the stories behind the sports, tackling the big issues and discovering the figures behind our most promising and high-profile sports men and women. Featuring a variety of reporters, including Matthew Pinsent, and a range of contributors from across the sporting world, each episode will explore the characters behind the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games. Launching exactly one year after the Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, the first episode will air from the Commonwealth Games site in Glasgow (BBC).
TV pundits Richard Keys and Andy Gray, who "were forced out of Sky Sports after the sexist scandal involving assistant referee Sian Massey, are to resurrect their TV careers in Qatar," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. The pair "are to base themselves in Doha next season to present a range of football programmes for the English language channel of Middle East TV giants Al Jazeera." This follows Al Jazeera closing down its London operation and moving all the production to its global headquarters in Qatar. Keys and Gray, whose contract for their daily show on talkSPORT expired at the end of May, "will continue working for the radio station once a week from Qatar." They "will present a weekly programme on Fridays previewing the weekend's football." Keys tweeted on Monday: "Wouldn't and couldn't "walk out" on TS. I owe them too much. Best work place I've ever been in. Doesn't try to be something it isn't." Their Qatar portfolio "is also likely to include the Premier League, on which their acclaimed partnership was forged during two decades at Sky." The Middle East rights for the Premier League "are with agency MP & Silva who are expected following protracted negotiations to eventually sell them on to Al Jazeera" (DAILY MAIL, 6/11).
The Int'l Ski Federation (FIS) has awarded the marketing of all commercial rights to the Alpine World Ski Championships and the Nordic World Ski Championships in '19 and '21 to Infront Sports & Media. The agreement includes distribution of worldwide media rights across all platforms and territories. It also covers marketing rights, including title sponsorship, presenting sponsorship and hospitality packages. Infront will also handle media production of the four events, transmitting a high-definition signal to broadcasters around the world (Infront).