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Volume 6 No. 212


Andy Gray "will make a second appearance as co-commentator with BT Sport" -- despite the emergence of the latest video which shows him "behaving in a sexist manner," according to Craig Hope of the London DAILY MAIL. The broadcaster "will use Gray for the FA Cup fifth-round tie between Arsenal and Liverpool on Sunday." The former Sky Sports pundit "returned to the commentary box on British television for the first time last month since he was sacked by Sky in 2011 amid a sexism storm following derogatory comments about a female official." However, just days after his reappearance during the FA Cup tie between Stevenage and Everton, "a video was leaked which showed an off-air recording of Gray and colleague Richard Keys singing 'get your t*** out for the lads' to Sky Sports presenter Clare Tomlinson." BT execs, however, "have refused to be put off by the footage and the 58-year-old will deputise for Michael Owen at the Emirates Stadium this weekend" (DAILY MAIL, 2/13).

Barcelona is the first sports club in the world to reach more than 100 million social media followers. The club gains about 100,000 new followers a day on more than 30 different official channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Tencent Weibo. Barcelona New Technologies Dir Didac Lee said that the club welcomes a new follower to its social networks every second. Barcelona’s Facebook page is one of the 25 most popular in the world after recently passing the 50-million mark. Of the club’s 100 million social media followers, Facebook has 64.2% of the total and is followed by Twitter (22.3%), Google+ (7.7%), Tencent Weibo (3.2%), Instagram (1.5%) and YouTube (1.2%) (FC Barcelona).

IMG Sport Video Archive, part of IMG Media, has renewed its deal with the Premier League for a further three years until the end of the '15-16 season. The worldwide deal will see IMG Sport Video Archive continue to be the Premier League’s exclusive archive partner, with all media rights available. The Premier League Archive currently contains more than 8,000 matches from all 21 completed seasons, as well as more 450 individual programs, including goals compilations, reviews of the season, classic matches and golden moments. All 380 matches from the current season will be available to view via within a few weeks of it finishing, with each subsequent season following the same pattern. In addition, various compilations featuring the best goals, bloopers and individual moments of skill will also be available at the same time, with the season’s showcase moments being captured for these collections as they happen (IMG).

Int'l media rights company MP & Silva has been appointed as media advisor to the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, the country's top flight football league, for a period of six seasons, starting with the '14-15 campaign. The advisory role will allow MP & Silva to develop and implement in close collaboration with the league commercial strategies in relation to sales of media rights and coordinate under the league’s authority the production and technical services to be provided by prospective licensees. The worldwide agreement covers all matches of the Jupiler Pro League to be distributed to any platform or devices domestically and internationally (MP & Silva).

German public broadcaster ZDF "recorded Wednesday's top rating with its broadcast of the Sochi pairs free skating competition," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. The figure skating event attracted 7.21 million viewers on Wednesday evening. The number equaled a market share of 26.5%. The Winter Games "obtained several market shares of more than 30% during the day." The Nordic combined event, which aired early afternoon, was watched by 3.68 million viewers and had a 33.1% share. The doubles luge competition attracted 5.37 million viewers and had a market share of 36.3% around 5pm (DWDL, 2/13).

FOOTBALL: QUOTENMETER's Sidney Schering reported German public broadcaster ARD "obtained high ratings for its broadcast of the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) quarterfinal match between Bayern Munich and Hamburg SV on Wednesday evening." A total of 7.10 million tuned in starting at 8:30pm. The number translated into a market share of 21.7%. In the target demographic 14-49, Bayern's 5-0 victory attracted 2.41 million viewers and had a 19.2% share. The pre-game program "Sportschau live" was watched by 5.87 million viewers with 1.94 million in the target demographic. The corresponding market shares were 21.1% and 18.4%, respectively. The post-game coverage, which started at 10:30pm, attracted 5.76 million viewers while obtaining a 25.3% share. In the target demographic, the broadcast was watched by 1.96 million viewers and had a 22.7% share (QUOTENMETER, 2/13).

Germany's Federal Cartel Office "has given the green light for Sky's takeover of sports-production company Plazamedia and its involvement in sports network Sport1," according to Uwe Mantel of DWDL. Sky announced in December that it will take over Plazamedia, whose biggest client has already been the pay-TV operator. In addition, Sky revealed that it wants to acquire a 25.1% stake in sport marketing company Constantin Sport Marketing and Sport1. Federal Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt said, "In the end, we didn't have any concerns about the merger. Sky indeed has a superior market position in the pay-TV area. However, the proposed purchase doesn't increase this market position to an extend that it would be relevant for competition" (DWDL, 2/12).