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Volume 6 No. 212


Officials of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and France Télévisions said that they "are close to reaching an agreement for broadcasting rights to Roland Garros for years to come," according to the AFP. FFT Media Dir Michel Grach said, "We're confident of reaching an agreement." At a conference organized by research firm NPA Conseil in Paris, he acknowledged that the FFT "is negotiating exclusively with France Télévisions." Grach said that "an agreement could be reached at the end of the year or early next year." France Télévisions Sports Dir Bilalian Daniel said, "As in any negotiation between a seller and a buyer, the rule is discretion." He added that "an agreement should be reached." France Télévisions's French Open rights run through '14 for €15M ($20.4M) per year. A tender process for TV rights to Roland Garros for the next four years "was declared void by the FFT and the tournament organizers." The FFT said that it hopes for a revaluation of the deal, knowing that Wimbledon's TV fee is €30M ($40.8M) and those of the U.S. Open is €60M ($81.6M) (AFP, 11/27).

Sports marketing agency Infront Sports & Media responded to a DPA report from Tuesday regarding German public broadcaster ZDF's coverage of this weekend's FIS Nordic skiing event in Kuusamo, Finland. The statement said, "Infront Sports & Media has been in negotiations with SportA, which is the sports rights agency of ARD and ZDF, about extensive and long-term media rights to FIS events for several months. As a partner of all national ski federations that host FIS World Cup events, the only exception is the Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV), Infront is collectively marketing the media rights for all FIS World Cup events in the disciplines of Alpine skiing, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, snowboard and freestlye. The rights for the Finnish competitions have been completing Infront's portfolio since this year. The partnership between SportA and Infront has been a successful one in terms of utilizing media rights for a number of sporting events for many years. It became clear several weeks ago during the talks that the current contract negotiations won't be completed in time for the Finnish Nordic skiing events. As a result, we offered the media rights for the FIS events in Kuusamo to SportA -- as we usually do in such cases -- without red tape and ahead of time. Therefore, broadcast coverage of the races on ZDF this weekend would have been possible and obviously in our interest. This offer was not used" (Infront).

German pay-TV network Sky Deutschland "narrowly missed a new ratings record for its broadcast of Tuesday's Champions League games," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. An average of 1.17 million viewers tuned in starting at 8:45pm to watch the games. The number translated into a market share of 3.9%. In the target demographic 14-49, Sky's broadcast of Tuesday's eight Champions League games attracted an average of 590,000 viewers and had a 5.2% share (QUOTENMETER, 11/27). AS reported Barcelona's Champions League match against Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam attracted an audience of 5.3 million and a market share of 26.8% for Spanish broadcaster TVE (AS, 11/27).

The Swiss Super League "has moved overseas," as U.S.-based sports channel GOL TV "will show one live game per matchweek," according to BLICK. The English-language channel is accessible "in all of North and South America with the exception of Brazil." The new deal "provides around 160,000 Swiss expats with the opportunity to watch Switzerland's top football league." Swiss Football League CEO Claudius Schäfer said, "We are pleased that the Super League has found an additional live audience on another continent" (BLICK, 11/27).

A report by int'l media rights agency MP & Silva revealed that the XXVI U18 Baseball World Cup, held in Taichung, Taiwan in early September, had a potential broadcast distribution reach of 144.05 million homes and potential online/mobile reach of 22 million unique users. Twenty-eight of the 45 games of the U18 Baseball World Cup were broadcast. Agreements were reached with 12 broadcasters that provided U18 Baseball World Cup coverage in 11 territories, including Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam (World Baseball Softball Confederation). ... Cricket Australia announced that the Chairman's XI vs. England tour match will be livestreamed. The match, to be played on Friday and Saturday at Traeger Park in Alice Springs, will be available on both CA's and Tourism NT's websites (Cricket Australia). ... SPORTFIVE Int'l, the sports marketing agency owned by Lagardère Unlimited, has teamed up with event organizer and owner Netball Singapore. The agreement includes the host production and global distribution rights for the eighth edition of the nations cup, which will be held in Singpore at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall from Sunday to Dec. 7 (SPORTFIVE).