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Volume 10 No. 25


A "controversial Red Bull advert suggesting Titanic passengers could have survived if they had drunk the energy drink has escaped censure after the advertising watchdog decided not to investigate, despite nearly 150 complaints," according to John Reynolds of the London GUARDIAN. The Advertising Standards Authority "has received 147 complaints" since Sept. 9 "about the Red Bull ad, including one from the Titanic Heritage Trust and from descendants of those who travelled on the liner." The watchdog said, "Although the ad would be distasteful to some, it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence or be generally seen as making light of the lives that were lost in the disaster" (GUARDIAN, 9/26).

Fox Sports has acquired exclusive Australian rights to broadcast the Spanish La Liga and Italian Serie A for the next two seasons. Fox Sports will broadcast two live matches each week  with an additional two matches on delay from both leagues, starting with the Madrid and Turin derbies on Sunday. Former Australian national team player and current A-League Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi, who was the first Australian to play in La Liga, the EPL and Serie A, has praised the broadcast deal. He said, "It is fantastic for Australian football fans to be able to enjoy two of the top club competitions in world football" (Fox Sports).

Multi Screen Media's sports channel, Sony Six, "has never been a cricket-only channel," according to Urvi Malvania of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Now looking to create an audience for basketball with new initiatives, newly-appointed Sony Six business head PRASANA KRISHNAN tells why "he is optimistic about non-cricket sports."

Do you think non-cricket sports will grow in India?
Prasana Krishnan: While cricket does give you the market share, reach and revenues, it has a flip side. There is only so much cricket that can be played in a year and there are at least four players fighting for the bid at any given time. If you see global trends, as a country develops economically, it grows towards being a multi-sport nation. I see a lot of potential in other sports.

Q: What are the non-cricket sports that will ensure good viewership?
Krishnan: Schools and colleges, at least those in urban and semi-urban areas, have basketball courts and football, cricket grounds. There is infrastructure, and there is interest. We are definitely looking at these basketball and football seriously. Tennis and badminton too have scope in India. Players in both these sports have been in the limelight off-late and the authorities and broadcasters are doing their bit as well. The other avenue is contact and fight sports.

Q: Is there an Indian sport for which it is tough to gain eyeballs?
Krishnan: The only problem I see is with hockey. Hockey grounds are fast disappearing and sadly, the youth doesn’t seem excited about it.

Q: Cricket is already the most popular game. What opportunities do you see there?
Krishnan: Cricket will always be there. All the four broadcasters have some Indian and non-Indian cricket on their channels. With digitisation and evolution of the audiences, I say that cricket is necessary, but not like before. Having said that, cricket still accounts for around 90% of the total broadcasting revenues.

Q: What was the response for your NBA Jam initiative?
Krishnan: We are very happy with the response we got for the NBA Jam events. We had participation from 500 teams in mind, but twice as many teams registered. The response has been wonderful on ground. We have brands like Adidas and Sprite which have partnered with the initiative. What is also heartening to see is the support for the participating players (BUSINESS STANDARD, 9/26).

Man City has expanded its global social media presence by launching 10 new int'l Twitter accounts. In addition to its existing English and Arabic Twitter accounts, which are followed by more than 1.5 million fans, the club now offers Twitter content in traditional Chinese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. The launch follows the roll-out of the club's 10 int'l websites in the same languages earlier this summer. The new Twitter accounts bring the club's total multilingual digital offering to 12 Twitter accounts and 13 websites, in addition to its Mandarin Chinese social media presence in Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo (Man City).