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Volume 10 No. 25


Football has been quick to fill the gap left by domestic cricket on ABC Radio, "announcing that every A-League match will have live coverage on the public broadcaster," according to Chloe Saltau of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Football Federation Australia "has signed a four-year deal with the ABC, which includes live coverage of the A-League on local and digital radio, the ABC's phone app and streaming on the Grandstand website." This is a major coup for football, a summer rival of cricket, and follows a warning from ABC Managing Dir Mark Scott to Cricket Australia "not to take the public broadcaster for granted." FFA CEO David Gallop described the football deal as "a breakthrough into mainstream media." Gallop said, "The national radio broadcaster adds significantly to our reach at a time when audiences for the A-League are booming and there's a massive surge in interest in football" (SMH, 10/9). In Sydney, Margie McDonald wrote "Gallop's vision for soccer to rattle the cages of established football and other sporting codes in Australia is turning into a reality." Gallop: "Our aim is always to continue on our path to being the largest and most popular sport in the country. So to be broadcast on the ABC over summer is a breakthrough moment for us, not only in the terms of the accessibility it creates for our fans, but for the message that it sends in Australian sport." Gallop's links with former National Rugby League Dir Katie Page "helped secure the deal that will help fund the first free-to-air coverage for A-League and other initiatives" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/9).

Former Australia cricket captain Ian Chappell "declined the offer from host broadcaster ESPN" for commentating in the limited overs series between Australia and India, refusing to accept the Board of Control for Cricket in India's terms and conditions, according to Firoz Mirza of the HINDUSTAN TIMES. Chappell said in an email, "I was invited by ESPN to do commentary. I emailed back asking who I was working for and the reply was; I was contracted by ESPN but I would be subject to BCCI restrictions. I emailed back to ask what these restrictions were and was told; I couldn't talk about Indian selection, DRS or administrative matters. I responded saying I didn't feel I could do my job properly under those circumstances and therefore declined the offer." Former Australian cricketer Mathew Hayden "is said to have replaced him." According to the diktat of the Board, commentators "must not criticise the India team selection, its opposition of the Decision Review System or speak on the Board’s administrative matters" (HINDUSTAN TIMES, 10/8).

Former U.S. hockey Olympic goalie Jim Craig, a member of the '80 "Miracle on Ice" Gold-Medal winning team, will produce a multimedia blog for RIA Novosti. Craig will provide coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics including preparation, predictions, reflections and players to watch. His blog will be published this week and on a weekly basis through the start of the Games, when it will be published three times a week (RIA Novosti).

Spanish Football League (LFP) President Javier Tebas has responded to La Liga Espanyol President Joan Collet's "criticism of the LFP's distribution of TV revenue," according to the EFE. Tebas: "He is mistaken. I defend the system the way I have since '03, and I can't say the same for Espanyol. There are 35 clubs and we have begun a process of balancing the distribution of revenue from TV rights. The difference now is 6.5-1 and we will eventually make it 4.5-1" (EFE, 10/8).

StarHub and the Singapore Sports Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding "to offer more local sports content to a wider audience," according to Chua Siang Yee of the STRAITS TIMES. The three-year MOU "will see an overall increase in local sports content on StarHub's broadcast platforms." StarHub also announced a new free-to-air channel SuperSports Arena, which will be available to all Singapore households Thursday. A sports news program, SuperSports 360, "will air daily on this new channel" (STRAITS TIMES, 10/8).

The Scottish Professional Football League has named MP & Silva its int'l development partner for the '13-14 season. The news follows the announcement that MP & Silva has been appointed the SPFL's overseas broadcast partner through the '22-23 season. MP & Silva will be the sole licensee of the SPFL's broadcast rights in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia in the current season. SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster said, "This will extend the coverage of Scottish football around the world, as well as delivering a financial boost to all 42 clubs in the league" (SPFL).