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Volume 10 No. 22


British viewers who want premium content pay-TV -- such as football and Hollywood movies -- "pay more than anyone else for the privilege," according to Stuart Kemp of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Media regulator Ofcom, in its ninth annual int'l communications market report, detailed that U.K. viewers pay more than $100 a month for the "best offer" premium pay TV subscription -- defined as including the "best package of top league football" as well as films and high-definition TV. That subscription "is more than double the $44 German viewers are asked to stump up for the same level of content." Of the six nations compared by Ofcom, the U.K. landed at No. 1 in the cost rankings, with Spain ranked second at $80, followed by the U.S. at $77, Italy at $66 and France at $57. The arrival of BT Sport in the U.K. market "will be closely scrutinized" to see if it results in better deals for the consumer as it takes on Sky (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 12/12).

Britain's Channel 4 "has opened the tender process" for the contract to produce the 2016 Rio Paralympics, according to Peter White of BROADCAST NOW. C4 "has kicked off its search after seeing off competition from the BBC to retain the rights to the event earlier this year." C4 is "planning round-the-clock coverage of the Games including live coverage and highlights packages." Producers are "expected to have experience in high quality sports production and the ability to build on the initiatives launched by the broadcaster last year which included its innovative graphics system, Lexi Decoder, and its work with disabled talent." Full details of the production tender "are available on the 4producers site." Submissions should be made by Jan. 6 (BROADCAST NOW, 12/13).

Dutch public broadcaster NOS and pay broadcaster Sport1 have both won UEFA national team rights packages, which "are being sold for the first time by the newly-created CAA Eleven agency," according to SOCCEREX. Free-to-air NOS will broadcast all Dutch Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying games, plus a highlights program featuring other games in Europe. The games "were previously covered by rival broadcaster SBS." Sport1, meanwhile, "has taken the live rights to all other European qualifying matches over the same four-year period" (SOCCEREX, 12/13).

The Polish press is reporting that Polsat TV "has acquired the rights to Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018 qualifying games in the country, plus rights to the Euro 2016 finals tournament," according to SOCCEREX. If confirmed, the deal, reportedly valued at some €35M ($48M), "marks a significant change" in Polish football coverage. Public broadcaster TVP, which has already secured the rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, "will no longer broadcast Poland qualifying games." Polsat is "set to broadcast national team qualifiers live on a free-to-air basis, although reports suggest it will broadcast the majority of other qualifying games included in the rights package behind its paywall." Poland is "the latest European territory" in which CAA Eleven, which is selling UEFA’s national team rights packages for the first time, has closed a deal (SOCCEREX, 12/13).

German public broadcaster ARD "scored top ratings with its broadcast of its Bundesliga highlight show, 'Sportschau,' on Saturday afternoon," according to Manuel Nunez Sanchez of QUOTENMETER. An average of 5 million viewers tuned in to watch ARD's Sportschau, which started at 6:30pm German time. The number translated into a market share of 22.3%. In the target demographic 14-49, the show attracted 1.47 million viewers and had a 19.9% share. Ahead of the Bundesliga Sportschau, ARD "aired highlights of 3rd League games." The 3rd League highlights were watched by 3.3 million viewers. The 30-minute show obtained a market share of 18.4%, including 13.6% in the target demographic. At night, ARD showed the boxing fight between Jürgen Brähmer and Marcus Oliveira. The light heavyweight fight, which started at 10:35pm, was watched by an average of 2.71 million viewers and had a 10.6% share. In addition, German public broadcaster ZDF aired seven consecutive hours of winter sports until 5pm. The most-watched event was the men's biathlon race, which attracted 2.93 million viewers starting at 1:15pm. The number equaled a market share of 23.6% including 10.6% in the target demographic. Following the biathlon event, ZDF showed the ski jumping World Cup. The event from Titisee-Neustadt, Germany, was watched by 2.28 million viewers and had market shares of 16.5% and 7.1%, respectively (QUOTENMETER, 12/15).