Spanish sports TV channel Marca TV will make its final broadcast on July 31, according to LIBERTAD DIGITAL. Multimedia groups Mediapro and Unidad Editorial, which share ownership of Marca TV, "met with employees on Monday to announce the closing of the channel." The channel's "worst fears have become reality" and 47 of the channel's 63 employees will be reassigned to other Mediapro projects, "while the future will be up in the air for the rest." Marca TV began broadcasting in '10 and was born in an agreement between Unidad Editorial and media company Imagina. When rival Mediaset bought the channel's La Liga rights in mid-March, Marca TV's losses rose to €6M ($7.8M) (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 7/15).
The NBA and Canal+ have reached a multi-year extension of their TV partnership in Spain. Canal+ will continue to provide live games, highlights, customized shows, and marquee events on Canal+ channels. It will also provide access to games online and on demand via mobile devices through Canal+'s online service, Yomvi, and NBA League Pass Int'l. Both Canal+ subscribers and non-subscribers will have access to one free game per week, live or on demand, available through Yomvi with a choice of English or Spanish commentary. Canal+ is also teaming up with the NBA to offer NBA League Pass Int'l in Spain through a co-branded landing page. Fans will have access to every NBA game, live and on demand throughout the season (Pitch).
Former Brazilian football player Ronaldo is "hoping to buy the huge Playboy franchise in Brazil," according to Matt Roper of the London DAILY MAIL. The former Real Madrid striker-turned-businessman, 35, "is believed to be close to making a bid for the popular men's magazine." Sources close to the player, full name Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, told Brazil's Extra newspaper that he sees the publication -- Brazil's 10th best-selling magazine -- "as a lucrative business opportunity." Playboy in Brazil has the third largest readership of the magazine in the world, reguarly selling over 250,000 copies a month -- "but sales have fallen in the last decade from sometimes over a million in the 1990s." Friends of the footballer said that Ronaldo -- nicknamed The Phenomenon in his native country -- "believes his 'midas touch' will help rejuvenate the magazine" (DAILY MAIL, 7/14).
German public broadcaster ZDF "attracted close to 6 million viewers to its broadcast of the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 matchup between Germany and Iceland on Sunday," according to Daniel Sallhoff of QUOTENMETER. A total of 5.93 million viewers tuned in to watch Germany's 3-0 victory. The number equaled a 19.7% market share. In the target demographic 14-49, the game obtained a 13.9% share. Pan-European channel Eurosport attracted 550,000 viewers to its broadcast of the game (QUOTENMETER, 7/15).
LE TOUR: DWDL's Alexander Krei reported Eurosport "received convincing ratings for its Tour de France broadcast on Sunday." The channel's live coverage of the Tour's 13th stage attracted an average of 650,000 viewers. The number translated into a market share of 5.3%. In the target demographic, Eurosport obtained a 4% share. Following the Tour de France, Eurosport "aired the Women's Euro 2013 between the Netherlands and Norway." The game attracted 370,000 viewers and had a 1.3% market share. In the target demographic, Norway's 1-0 victory recorded a 0.7% share. Eurosport had an average market share of 2.5% on Sunday, which made it its most successful day in Germany since July '09 (DWDL, 7/15).
ASHES: In London, John Plunkett reported England's win over Australia in the opening Test match of the Ashes "peaked with 1.3 million viewers on Sky, with nearly 1.5 million watching the highlights on Channel 5." The home side's 14-run win "had a five-minute peak of 1.32 million on Sky Sports Ashes (the Sky Sports 2 channel rebranded for the duration of the summer) on Sunday." The entirety of Sky's coverage "averaged 486,000 between 10am and 7pm." Channel 5's highlights program, Test Cricket: The Ashes, "had another 1.47 million viewers (8.5%) between 7pm and 8pm." It was Channel 5's most popular program of the day, "beating last night's Big Brother update, which was watched by 1.46 million viewers (6.6%) between 9pm and 10pm, into second place" (GUARDIAN, 7/15).
BOXING: The SID reported the Super Middleweight fight between current WBO champion Robert Stieglitz and Japanese contender Yuzo Kiyota "has recorded high ratings for German free-to-air TV channel Sat.1." The fight was watched by an average of 2.71 million viewers on late Saturday evening. Stieglitz's win via unanimous technical decision in the 10th round had a 14.9% market share. A total of 4,500 people attended the fight in Dresden, Germany (SID, 7/14).