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Volume 6 No. 213


The National Rugby League "is embroiled in a grand final legal row with its broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports over Sunday's telecast," according to Phil Rothfield of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Fox Sports "claims to have exclusive rights to the preliminary games" -- NSW Cup and Holden Cup -- as part of the new A$1.2B ($1.1B) TV deal. Nine is refusing to back down, with CEO David Gyngell declaring that "all games will be shown on free-to-air, as has happened since Nine originally got the rights." Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany "responded by firing off a legal warning to the NRL" on Tuesday to protect their exclusivity. NRL Dir of Marketing & Commercial Paul Kind said that "he was confident of resolving the row before game day." Kind said, "It's not the first time there has been a disagreement between the broadcasters." The row "has left networks facing the exorbitant costs of both having to provide outside broadcast trucks and cameras, rather than sharing the production expenses" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 10/2).

Fusion Media analyst Steve Allen said that Aussie rules football player Lance Franklin's decision to play for the Australian Football League Sydney Swans over Greater Western Sydney "will have a major impact on the AFL's bid to crack the crucial Sydney television market," according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE. Allen said that the "easiest way for the AFL to leave a greater footprint on what is a fickle Sydney market is to have two competitive teams." This would "not only help spark stronger ratings locally, but around the country." Franklin's move "to join a blue-chip Swans team," rather than the bottom-placed Giants, "would initially suggest the divide between the two clubs will grow, unless the Giants can secure a clutch of established senior players through the free agency and trade periods." Had Franklin joined the Giants, it "could have been considered for at least one Friday-night clash -- they were one of five teams that did not feature this season -- with an early season grudge match against the Hawks, marketed as a blockbuster and cut-through clash in rugby league's western heartland, also a possibility." Allen said Franklin's decision "would not impact on the next TV rights deal, even if the Giants continued to struggle" (THE AGE, 10/3).

Football fans "are well catered-for when it comes to ways to follow the sport on our smartphones," according to Stuart Dredge of the London GUARDIAN. One of the most popular football apps, though, "doesn't come from an established media brand." German startup Motain launched The Football App in '08, and "it has since rolled out across iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Samsung's connected TVs." The app "has been downloaded" more than 10 million times, but Founder Lucas von Cranach said that is "not the best measure of its performance." Cranach: "Everybody talks about downloads, but downloads isn't a currency if people aren't using your application. We have close to 5 million monthly active users, and they're highly engaged, with up to 1.5 million daily active users." Until now, The Football App "has focused on news, scores and commentaries, stats and other content drawn from various media partners." That is "changing today, with a new feature called Fan Zone that aims to get fans chatting much more around all this content" (GUARDIAN, 10/2).

German pay-TV channel Sky "received top ratings for its broadcast of Tuesday's Champions League games," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. A total of 1.13 million viewers tuned in starting at 8:45pm German time. The number translated into a market share of 4%. In the target demographic 14-49, Sky attracted 680,000 viewers and had a 6.4% market share. Sky's simulcast of all eight Champions League matches with German commentary was watched by 480,000 viewers, 240,000 watched the simulcast with int'l commentary and the rest tuned in to one of the individual games. After the conclusion of the games, Sky aired its highlight show "Alle Spiele, alle Tore" ("All Games, All Goals"). The show, which started at 10:45pm, attracted 430,000 viewers and obtained a 2.9% share. In the target demographic, the show had a 4% share (QUOTENMETER, 10/2).

OPORTO-ATLÉTICO: The EFE reported Tuesday's Champions League match between Portuguese side Oporto and La Liga side Atlético Madrid, which was broadcast on Spanish broadcaster TVE's La 1, drew a total of 3.9 million viewers. The broadcast "obtained a market share of 22.9%." The broadcast's peak audience "occurred at 10:35pm, with a market share of 29.9% and 5.9 million viewers" (EFE, 10/2).