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Volume 10 No. 25


Sky Italia is "reportedly ready to offer even more money" for Serie A TV rights,  but "only in return for exclusivity," according to FOOTBALL ITALIA. The pay-TV broadcasters are reportedly "prepared to bid in excess of" the €561M ($757M) they tabled for rights from '12-13 to '14-15. There is "currently no exclusivity for the sale of football rights in Italy," but Sky "would like that introduced for a number of packages that will go on the market" for the '15-18 period (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 9/23). TELECOM PAPER reported Sky Italia and Mediaset "have denied any collusion regarding the sale of the TV rights to football matches in the Serie A." Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia said that the "real anomaly is that Italy is the only country where there is no exclusivity in the sale of football rights, adding that there is not a sale per product, but rather per platform." The result "is a devaluation of the product and a negative impact on operators' profits" (TELECOM PAPER, 9/23).

Sky Sports is launching a new weekly program called "Sportswomen" on Tuesday morning. Sky Sports has also agreed to a new three-year deal with England Netball and an exclusive partnership with the Sunday Times to cover the Sportswomen of the Year Awards. ''Sportswomen," which will launch on Sky Sports News on Tuesday at 10:30am local time, will include news, views and analysis, as well as exclusive athlete interviews. Hosted by Hayley McQueen, the 30-minute program will be repeated on Sky Sports 1 at 6:30pm the same day and will also be available via Sky's On Demand service. Sky Sports also announced the exclusive partnership and coverage of the Sunday Times Awards, a ceremony that celebrates the outstanding contribution to sport made by women over the past year, including athletes, coaches, administrators and community volunteers (Sky Sports).

A couple weeks ago, the America's Cup "stopped being a boat race and turned into a gospel meeting that merged religion and patriotism," according to Mark Reason of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. In Australia and New Zealand, it "has been compelling viewing." The racing "has teetered on the twin edges of danger and rivalry." And do not "forget farce." The boats and the backdrops "have been breathtaking." The sailors, the designers and the boatbuilders "inspire our admiration." But 1.5 million New Zealander viewers "are not all interested in yachting." We "are being played by the marketers and the presenters of TVNZ." Objectivity and impartiality, which were once at least distant goals in sections of the media, "have been abandoned on the altar of commerce." The America's Cup is about viewing numbers "and viewing numbers are about selling product." One's coverage of the race "is television evangelism." Since when did "we" become part of national broadcasting? Since Rupert Murdoch decided back in the '80s that "sport was the religion of the masses and turned television coverage into a promo package that has subsequently spawned the likes of Man United TV and now, apparently, Team NZ TV." That is "patriotism for you." Albert Einstein "called it the measles of mankind." Mark Twain "called it the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 9/22). FAIRFAX NZ NEWS' Duncan Johnstone suggested this America's Cup "is reality television gone mad." The inflexibility of the racing schedule "is at the root of the problem." It is "a nonsense." But that is "it's timeslot on the small screen." The America's Cup is bowing to a TV audience in the U.S. "that is comparatively nonexistent when viewed alongside the major sports that dominate the screens at this time of the year, primarily baseball and NFL." Yet "the rest of the sailing world suffers" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 9/23).

Pay-TV channel Canal+ has acquired the broadcasting rights for Euroleague Basketball in Spain for the next three seasons ('13-14, '14-15 and '15-16). Canal+ will have exclusive broadcast rights in Spain for Real Madrid and Unicaja Malaga, and will carry Barcelona and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria games at the state level. Through Canal+'s online service, Yomvi, users will be able to watch the Euroleague from anywhere using various devices including PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Samsung SmartTV, XBOX and Android smartphones and tablets. The Euroleague consists of 24 teams including Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Panathinaikos Athens, Olympiacos Piraeus and Fenerbahce Istanbul (Canal+).

EUROSPORT PARTNERS WITH BBL: The British Basketball League confirmed British Eurosport as its official broadcast partner for '13-14. British Eurosport takes over as the exclusive U.K. rights holder for the BBL. Coverage will begin Nov. 9 at noon with a broadcast of the previous week's game between the Worcester Wolves and Plymouth Raiders. The broadcaster committed to 26 weekly shows during the season across multiple platforms (British Eurosport).

German free-to-air TV channel RTL "has recorded satisfying ratings for its broadcast of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix," according to Alexander Krei of the DWDL. A total of 5.01 million people tuned in to watch Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel win his third consecutive race at Marina Bay. The number translated into a market share of 34%. In the target demographic 14-49, RTL obtained a 27.5% share. In addition, German pay-TV channel Sky "set a new season best with its broadcast of Sunday's race." Sky attracted an average of 540,000 viewers to its coverage. The number equaled a 3.6% share in the target demographic (DWDL, 9/23).

BUNDESLIGA: DWDL's Krei also reported Sky "set a new season ratings record for its Bundesliga top game broadcast on Saturday evening." A total of 1.22 million viewers tuned in to watch the game between FC Schalke and Bayern Munich. The game obtained a 7.5% market share in the target demographic. Earlier on Saturday, Sky attracted 1.16 million viewers to its simulcast of all five afternoon games. The number equaled a 12.2% market share. The Bundesliga's two Sunday games, Freiburg against Berlin and Stuttgart against Frankfurt, attracted 370,000 and 470,000 viewers on Sky, respectively (DWDL, 9/23).