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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag "is hoping that big-name F1 teams will soon join the newly founded racing series," according to the SID. Agag: "I'm certain that teams such as Ferrari or Red Bull will someday also field Formula E teams. We are already in talks with McLaren." However, fans can look forward "to illustrious names known in Germany and around the world." Agag: "We will have former F1 drivers and drivers who had been active in GP2." Formula E, which will debut in '14, "will be the first worldwide championship using electric cars" (SID, 7/11).

The final pitch for a game to be taken to China has been submitted to the National Rugby League, with the Australian Rugby League Commission "set to make a call on Manly's proposed China venture by the end of the month," according to Adrian Proszenko of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Sea Eagles "lodged plans for a game to be played in Shenzhen next year." An independent consultant "will conduct a feasibility study on an event officials hope will expose the game to new sponsors and audiences." Manly CEO Dave Perry met Nine Network powerbrokers Steve Crawley, Jeff Browne, David Gyngell and Matt Callander last week "to discuss the broadcasting implications." Crawley said management had an "open mind" to the proposal, which would likely result in a live Friday night broadcast if it went ahead. He said, "Every time anyone mentions China it's a massive thing. Who knows? It's a great looking stadium. You start giving them a taste and there could be more money coming into the game." It is expected the matter "will be resolved at the next ARLC board meeting, scheduled for this month." Because of the cost, the NRL "would have to underwrite the project" (SMH, 7/11).

The National Rugby League "has ordered a leading corporate bookmaker to cease betting on 'speculative' markets including what club Canterbury's Ben Barba will end up at next year and what code Benji Marshall will play in 2014," according to Chris Barrett of the CANBERRA TIMES. Officials from Rugby League Central are moving "to stamp out-of-match markets surrounding players' futures amid concerns at how they could be manipulated and exploited." Online bookmaker Sportsbet "promoted at least three such markets." The markets "are used by bookmakers primarily as a promotional tool but the NRL, using the powers of the integrity agreement it has with wagering operators licensed to take bets on the game in Australia, has moved to shut them down" (CANBERRA TIMES, 7/12).

Super League rugby will be reduced to 12 teams for the '15 season, the clubs agreed at their annual meeting Wednesday, according to Scott Rutherford of the LONDON TIMES. Reorganization of the domestic game "took another step forward when the 14 Super League clubs ruled out a proposal" for a 10-team league. Only four clubs were "prepared to countenance the 10-team option, with Huddersfield Giants the only club strongly in favour." The clubs agreed last month to "cut their number from 14 and opted for a restoration of regular promotion and relegation in place of the current licensing system." Just two proposals "remain up for debate." One is for "two divisions of 12 with a straightforward system of promotion and relegation." The alternative is the option being pushed by the Rugby Football League that involves "Super League and a 12-team Championship being split after 23 rounds into three qualifying play-off groups of eight clubs." The clubs have asked the RFL to produce more detail about the latter option, "which was initially rejected overwhelmingly by the players before amendments were made" (LONDON TIMES, 7/11).

Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas "has conceded that the free-to-air La Liga game on Spanish TV could be shown on a Saturday night," according to FOOTBALL ESPANA. Tebas spoke "about the situation concerning audio-visual rights in Spain, with his most significant comments reserved for the one free game screened for every round of fixtures." Tebas: "There have been teams like Betis and Sevilla that have complained a lot because they have had to play several times on a Monday. The solution could be to rotate the games more and leave the free one for Saturday at 10pm [local time]. In that case we could play the pay-per-view fixture on Monday at 9pm. It’s true that this is a bad day to go to a match but those clubs have been more than compensated with what they have received from the television companies." Tebas added that "he would do away with the open TV game if he could." Tebas said, "We are the only country in Europe that has this [free game]. Our audio-visual rights are worth less because of it" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 7/11).