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Volume 6 No. 192

Events and Attractions

The details of a new European rugby tournament to replace the Heineken Cup are "almost complete," with negotiations "likely to be concluded early next month by all parties bar the two rival broadcasters, BT Sport and Sky," according to Robert Kitson of the London GUARDIAN. Sources said that the planned Rugby Champions Cup will included teams from all six unions and would "be controlled by the clubs." An announcement is expected within the next 10 days but "the small print relating to the governance of a 20-team tournament no longer run by European Rugby Cup Ltd. is virtually done." A club insider said, "Within the next week or so we should pretty much have certainty about what the event is. From a player, supporter and coach point of view there'll be little difference but the financial distribution will be much fairer." A resolution would delight all  involved, "but there still remains one high-stakes issue to be solved." Sky signed a contract extension last year with ERC, but Premiership Rugby "has sold its cross-border rights to BT." A club source said, "The last part of the jigsaw is unpicking the broadcast contract. Sky and BT are in a massive battle over broadband that is much bigger than rugby and they're not going to give up easily. There could still be a protracted legal battle over who broadcasts the event" (GUARDIAN, 10/28).

The Int'l Handball Federation "has awarded the 2019 Men's Handball World Championship to Germany and Denmark," according to the SID. It "will be the sixth time that Germany hosts a handball world championship" after '38, '58, '61, '82 and '07. German Handball Federation (DHB) President Bernhard Bauer said, "I'm really touched and really glad. We are two big handball nations that will now together tackle such a great project for international handball." Danish Handball Federation President Per Bertelsen said, "I'm certain that we will be to oraganize a great world championship togther." It "will be the first time that two countries will co-host a handball world championship." The opening game "will be played at the O2 World Berlin and Copenhagen will host the final" (SID, 10/28).

The SID reported the Basketball Bundesliga's (BBL) 2014 All-Star Game "will take place in Bonn." The game between the league's best German and int'l players "will be played at the home of BBL club Telekom Baskets Bonn on Jan. 18." BBL CEO Jan Pommer said, "Bonn is, in a positive sense, basketball crazy. Therefore we are glad to return to Bonn. We are certain that it will be once again a great basketball spectacle in front of fantastic fans" (SID, 10/28).

A shadow "has been cast on the future of the Taiwan leg of the LPGA tour as its organizer said Sunday that more sponsorship is needed to help carry the costs," according to CNA. The Sunrise Golf & Country Club "hosted the Oct. 24-27 LPGA tournament for the third year in a row." Golf Association of the Republic of China President and Sunrise Group Chair Hsu Tien-ya said that "he hopes to see more sponsorship to share the financial burden." Hsu said, "It should not be solely on my shoulders" (CNA, 10/27). YONHAP's Yoo Jee-ho reported South Korea "will retain its lone European Tour golf tournament after all." The tournament formerly called the Ballantine's Championship "will be held under a new title sponsor next spring." Officials said that "the new corporate sponsor will be announced in the near future" (YONHAP, 10/28).

The FA of Malaysia has admitted that "counterfeit tickets are making the rounds again but they will be prepared to combat it for the Malaysia Cup final between Kelantan and Pahang at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday." FAM Competition Committee Chair Datuk Affendi Hamzah said, "We will try our best to put a stop to this and in order to do so, we have a total of 2,155 police officers on duty during the final" (THE STAR, 10/28). ... Indian Grand Prix organizers "were bullish about the troubled race's future on Monday despite a drop in the estimated crowd figures and its disappearance from the schedule next year." Attendance estimates "varied from 50,000 to 60,000." This year's figures are lower than the "95,000 who attended the inaugural race day in 2011 and the 65,000 who watched it last year" (AFP, 10/28).