A A$250M ($225M) battle for the Australian TV rights for the next three Olympics "is being played out behind the scenes in Sochi," according to John Lehmann of NEWS LIMITED NETWORK. IOC VP John Coates said that Australia’s three TV networks "have expressed strong interest" in bidding for the 2016 Rio, 2018 PyeongChang and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Coates: "It’s all happening as we speak." Ten Chair Lachlan Murdoch and CEO Hamish McLennan "hurried off the ski slopes in Sochi when invited to a private meeting" with IOC President Thomas Bach and his media rights negotiator in the exclusive Olympic Club hospitality complex last week. Coates: "Ten has been very happy with their experience here and Ten like the idea that two of the next three Games are in the same time zone." Coates "declined to speculate on how much the rights would fetch," but sources said that the IOC "was expecting" around A$250M for Australian free-to-air, pay-TV and digital media rights (NEWS LIMITED NETWORK, 2/20).
Movistar TV, which is owned by telecom company Telefonica, will broadcast the entire MotoGP World Championship in Spain this year, offering up to six additional cameras during races, according to Miguel Sanz of MARCA. Movistar presenter Ernest Riveras said of Movistar's priorities, "The quality of the product and the production, the broadcast of all content from Thursday through two hours after the races, every press conference, everything that happens, we will work on the tracks and with our own cameras." During races, "viewers have the option to choose from six different HD camera views: pit lane, helicopter, on-board, etc." Riveras: "It is the TV of the future. In all advanced countries this will be pay-TV content, although I will not say how much it will cost." The price of the new Movistar TV channel "will be announced in the upcoming weeks" (MARCA, 2/20).
MOVISTAR TO SPONSOR YAMAHA: The EFE reported Movistar confirmed that it will be the principal sponsor for the Yamaha MotoGP team as "part of its ambitious project to compete with Mediaset España." The Yamaha team is led by Jorge Lorenzo of Spain and Valentino Rossi of Italy (EFE, 2/20).
German public broadcaster ZDF and pay-TV operator Sky "attracted more than 10 million viewers to their Champions League broadcasts on Wednesday night," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. The first leg of the Champions League round of 16 matchup between Bayern Munich and Arsenal, which started at 8:45pm, was watched by an average of 9.4 million viewers on ZDF. The number translated into a market share of 29.5%. An additional 700,000 viewers tuned in to Sky's broadcast of Bayern's 2-0 win. In the target demographic 14-49, ZDF obtained a 25.5% market share as 3.19 million people tuned in. Following the live broadcast, the public broadcaster showed the highlights of Wednesday's second Champions League round of 16 game between AC Milan and Atlético Madrid. The highlights of Atlético's 1-0 win attracted 6.29 million viewers. In addition to Champions League football, ZDF aired Winter Olympics coverage throughout the day. The biathlon mixed relay race attracted 5.21 million viewers and had a 35.9% in the afternoon. During lunch time, the men's giant slalom also obtained a market share of more than 30% (DWDL, 2/20).