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Volume 6 No. 192


Seven West Media "has secured broadcast rights to the Australian Open tennis for a further five years," according to Michael Bodey of THE AUSTRALIAN. The deal, worth A$40M ($38.1M) a year, finalizes "a heady 18 months of renegotiations of sports broadcast deals." But the final piece in the puzzle was labeled "scandalous" by Network Ten. Tennis Australia and Seven "are yet to confirm the deal and it is not known whether it includes digital or pay-TV rights although Seven has not yet approached Fox Sports to on-sell rights." Ten said it would be "scandalous if Tennis Australia sold its television rights without conducting an open tender." The deal "is a significant price rise" from the previous A$21M per year deal but sources suggest Ten would have "absolutely" pushed the price closer to A$50M annually while another sports management group, believed to be Wimbledon broadcaster IMG, informally offered A$40M per year. A Ten spokesperson said, "Victorian taxpayers have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into facilities used by Tennis Australia. Taxpayers have the right to expect Tennis Australia to conduct an open, transparent negotiation process, particularly given the record prices the AFL (Australian Football League), NRL (National Rugby League) and Cricket Australia have secured for their television rights recently" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/13).

An advert for Scottish Second Division club Rangers "has been cleared following 78 complaints that it described itself as the 'most successful' in Scotland." The Advertising Standards Authority said that "78 complainants believed the 'most successful club' claim was misleading because they understood that it had only been formed in 2012" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 6/12). ... The Seven Network and IMG signed a multi-year broadcast partnership for the Australian Masters and Perth International over the next three years (PGA of Australia). ... Broadcasters TSN and RDS have reached an exclusive, multi-year, multimedia rights agreement with Rugby Canada, making TSN and RDS the official broadcasters of Rugby Canada. As part of the deal, TSN and RDS will broadcast several int'l events each year, including Rugby World Cup qualifiers, int'l friendlies, and the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 (TSN). ... BT Sport "has landed the exclusive live rights to screen" England and Liverpool player Steven Gerrard's testimonial match against Greek side Olympiacos. The Reds will take on the Greek champions on Aug. 3 to honor their captain (CABLE, 6/12).