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Volume 6 No. 216


All three commercial Australian networks "have stepped back into the race for the next Olympic Games TV rights package," amid speculation of a three-Games, A$200M ($187M) rights deal, according to Michael Bodey of THE AUSTRALIAN. The announcement of Tokyo as the 2020 Olympics host boosted IOC "hopes for an inflated Australian rights deal, after local interest in the timezone-unfriendly Rio 2016 Games was weak." Previously, the IOC rejected a A$90M bid for those Games and told broadcasters that "it wanted to repackage Australian rights as one deal" encompassing the 2016 Rio, the 2018 Pyeong-chang Games and the 2020 Tokyo Games. Negotiations "were delayed until the announcement of the 2020 host." An Olympics source suggested that "Australian networks should now 'have to get busy and open their chequebooks.'" The source said, "We understand the networks have all had tough times and we were prepared to wait. Now the Olympic brand is going through the roof, particularly if you look at the U.S. rights deal." Unsurprisingly, the Australian networks "have attempted to talk down the value of the rights, pillorying suggestions the package could push" to the A$150M-A$200M mark. One network exec said, "You spend A$50M on each Games and you'll lose a lot of money. Rio at A$50M, we'd decline." Seven, Nine or Ten "will not commit publicly to bidding but all are currently assessing the numbers." A major concern "is what the free-to-air broadcast environment will look like when the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 come around" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/16).

As the final races of the America's Cup "are battled out between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA," Telecom has reported a "massive spike" in mobile data consumption, according to the APNZ. When the catamarans crossed the starting line shortly after 8am on Monday, data consumption "rose to almost double the normal level for that time of day" -- and "spiked again an hour or so later when the second race began." Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin said, "People are live streaming the game over their mobiles, either using their browser and news websites or via the America's Cup app. People are also communicating about the race over social media" (APNZ, 9/18).

La Liga side Athletic Bilbao and multimedia group Mediapro have signed an agreement "whereby the broadcaster will pay the Basque club" a sum of more than €11M ($14.7M) in outstanding payments "from a contract agreed between the two entities two years ago," according to INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL. Athletic Bilbao had "instigated legal proceedings against the TV broadcaster, claiming that they had caused untold financial damage for failing to meet their financial obligations." Mediapro had claimed that Athletic had "broken signed contractual obligations" (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 9/18). DEIA reported Athletic President Josu Urrutia traveled to Barcelona to "finalize the agreement after a meeting with Mediapro President Jaume Roures." In exchange for the payment, Athletic "agreed to withdraw the demand for its money that it had placed with the Spanish courts" (DEIA, 9/18).

German pay-TV channel Sky "recorded top ratings for its broadcast of Tuesday's Champions League games," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. A total of 1.18 million viewers tuned in to watch Sky's simulcast of all eight games or one of its individual game broadcasts. The number translated into a market share of 4.2%. In the target demographic 14-49, Sky's broadcast attracted 630,000 viewers and had a 5.6% market share (QUOTENMETER, 9/18).

REAL MADRID-GALATASARAY: The EP reported Real Madrid's Champions League victory against Turkish side Galatasaray drew more than 6.1 million viewers on Spanish broadcaster TVE's La1, registering a 36.1% market share (EP, 9/18).

New research by an academic from the University of East Anglia found U.K. Sunday newspapers promote the weekend as a male domain centered around their activities and interests. The study found that the representation of sportswomen and men is different in weekend newspaper reporting, with women under-represented and unfairly represented in sports coverage and photographs. Over two years, five U.K. national Sunday newspapers dedicated just 826 (3.6%) articles to sportswomen, compared to the 21,531 (93.8%) devoted to sportsmen. There was also a stark difference in the number of photographs of sportsmen and women published -- of the 25,717 photographs that appeared, 1,780 (6.9%) were of women. The research was conducted by Dr. Amy Godoy-Pressland from UEA’s School of Education and Lifelong Learning. It is the first study to look at how sports reporting and gender differs at the weekend, and particularly on Sundays, from weekday reporting. The study involved analyzing the sports sections of the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Observer, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Express from Jan. '08 to Dec. '09. Of 22,954 articles published, the five papers averaged 35 stories a month on sportswomen, compared to 897 on sportsmen. There was also a tendency for the papers to print images and stories of women not connected to sport, even when photographic coverage of sportswomen became more prominent, such as during the Beijing Olympics. Of the 761 female photographs in the Sunday Times and 396 in the Mail on Sunday, 31% and 22%, respectively, were non-sports related. Women’s bodies were also sexualized in photographic and written coverage. There were many photographs of sportswomen nude, semi-nude or in revealing clothes, but for men, sports performance took precedence over stories or photographs which highlighted their bodies in a sexual manner (University of East Anglia). The complete study.

Kickboxing promotion company Glory Sports Int’l has acquired the rights to the majority of kickboxing promotion K-1's programming. The acquisition brings GSI's number of kickboxing programming hours to nearly 3,000 (Glory Sports Int'l). ... Infront Sports & Media and the Int'l Ice Hockey Federation reported record TV and online audience figures for this year's IIHF World Championship. The event achieved an all-time high cumulative TV audience of 975.15 million secured by agreements with 70 broadcasters that aired the games in more than 118 countries and territories (Infront). ... The Saudi Telecom Company has launched in collaboration with solution provider Intigral and sports digital and broadcast service company deltatre a new sports mall portal, STC's website offers digital media content for sport fans (deltatre).