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Volume 6 No. 215


BT Sport COO Jamie Hindhaugh has "dismissed the future of 3D television, adding to speculation that the bubble has burst for broadcasters and TV manufacturers," according to T3. Hindhaugh has "first hand experience of 3D programming after masterminding the BBC's Olympic coverage" in '12. However, he "pulled no punches when it came to his feelings on 3D programming." Hindhaugh: "I did the Olympics in 3D and it was the biggest waste of time I did. No one ever watched it." Sky Sports has "invested heavily in 3D over the last few years, but it seems even they have lost their appetite for the service." Despite "boasting more 3D subscribers than ever before," Sky has neglected to expand 3D this year, and promised coverage "on par" with last year. Hindhaugh was "unequivocal about his feelings for 3D." Hindhaugh said, "BT will absolutely not do 3D. I was in NAB [National Association of Broadcasters] in Vegas two years ago and you couldn't move for 3D. This year you couldn't move for 4K and there was one 3D stall there, which I think says it all" (T3, 8/28).

NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Live Extra have "set new highs" with coverage of the EPL, "showing just how far football’s popularity is spreading across the U.S.," according to RAPID TV NEWS. For the ManU vs. Chelsea match on Monday, NBCSN’s telecast averaged 536,000 viewers, "the highest so far for the season, admittedly only two weeks old, and ranked second among weekday," early season (prior to December) Premier League football matches on U.S. TV. NBCSN’s Premier League average audience of 147,000 "topped all Monday sporting events, 18% above the second-most watched telecast in the demographic," namely the MLB Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals game in primetime on ESPN (RAPID TV NEWS, 8/29).

An Australian government-funded digital TV sports channel "could be established as soon as 2014 under an Australian Sports Commission plan," according to John Stensholt of the AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW. The Sports Commission has "received approaches from YouTube and other companies" since Australian Sports Commission Chair John Wylie "flagged the establishment of a television channel for lower-profile sports in which Australia is successful globally." They include field hockey, netball, rowing and athletics, which are "popular in a participation sense but receive little coverage on commercial television networks." Wylie said that the commission was "keen to establish the digital service should a partner be found and if it would be financially beneficial to the sports." He said that he hoped the channel "could be ready to launch as early as the second half of 2014." Wylie said that those sports already pay TV networks about A$3M ($2.7M) annually in "production costs for their events to be broadcast." Wylie believes "that money could be better spent on a new channel" (AFR, 8/28).

Broadcaster ITV "has rejected" accusations by Scottish Premiership Celtic Manager Neil Lennon that its recent Champions League coverage was "anti" Celtic, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The first leg of the Scottish champions' playoff against Shakhter Karagandy in Astana "was screened live by ITV4, with commentary provided by Jon Champion and Clarke Carlisle." But Lennon claimed on Wednesday night comments made by the pair during the match -- which the Kazakhs won 2-0 -- were "disrespectful" to the Parkhead club and its supporters. However, PA Sport reported that ITV staff "have now reviewed the footage of the first-leg encounter with Shakhter and found the commentary to be fair." An ITV spokesperson said, "The coverage fairly reflected a disappointing performance and result by Celtic against a team they were expected to beat" (DAILY RECORD, 8/29).

Broadcaster Christian O'Connell will return to present BBC Radio 5 Live's "Fighting Talk," according to John Plunkett of the London GUARDIAN. O'Connell will be "one of three new presenters of the Saturday morning panel show" that will also include football commentator Jonathan Pearce. O'Connell replaces Colin Murray, who "left Radio 5 Live to join a rival weekday show on 5 Live's TalkSport, and will be one of three people sharing presenting duties on the show along with Match of the Day commentator Pearce and TV presenter Matt Johnson." The station "turned to three presenters because of the commitment required by the show, which will run for 40 weeks in the new football season." It has also staged a number of "specials" outside of the studio such as the recent Radio 5 Live "big day out" in front of 5,000 fans at the Liverpool Echo Arena (GUARDIAN, 8/29).

The second leg of the Spanish Supercopa match Wednesday night between Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, which aired on Spanish broadcaster TVE's La 1, drew an audience of 5.7 million and obtained a market share of 37.9%, according to the EFE. The broadcast of the game, which ended in a 0-0 draw with Barcelona winning the Supercopa on aggregate, reached its peak audience at 11:39pm local time, with 6.7 million viewers and a market share of 42.1%. A total of 10.4 million viewers "watched some portion of the contest" (EFE, 8/29).

A "new entrant" in Papua New Guinea's TV market "has been awarded the Pacific Islands FIFA rights including" the 2014 World Cup. Click Pacific Ltd. was awarded sole TV rights to FIFA TV content from December to July by rights holder MP & Silva (FIJI VILLAGE, 8/29). ... ESPN FC "is gearing up" for the World Cup next year, "offering rolling coverage from leagues across the globe." The website, originally entitled ESPN Soccernet, "aims to become the top destination for football coverage year-round online and on mobile devices" (PTI, 8/29). ... Mobile TV provider Zenga TV "has secured exclusive mobile rights for the 2013 edition of the US Open Tennis Championship." Zenga TV has licensed these rights from sports media firm Seven3Sports, "which in turn had received it from Ten Sports." Zenga TV will be "live streaming all the tennis matches on its mobile applications across iOS, Android and Windows Phone and its mobile site for free" (MEDIA NAMA, 8/29).