Spanish multimedia group Mediapro "plans to start a regional 24-hour Formula One channel after acquiring the series' rights for most of Central and South America and the Caribbean," according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. Mediapro said in an e-mailed statement that it "bought the free-to-air and pay-TV rights for the regions, excluding Brazil," from '15-19, "without disclosing financial terms." Mediapro is entering a regional sports pay-TV broadcasting market that Sportcal media analyst Catherine Davies said is "dominated" by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and ESPN. Davies added that Fox Sports has "owned Formula One rights for Latin America for the last decade." Davies: "It will make people sit up and take notice of Mediapro, which has largely flown under the radar until now" (BLOOMBERG, 3/24). In Madrid, Daniel Toledo wrote Mediapro is "strengthening its position on the other side of the pond." Sources indicated that the "multi-year deal will involve a payment" of more than €100M ($138M), which could "mean the removal of a giant like Fox, which had dominated the broadcasts there until now." The contract "will reach 90 million homes, equivalent to 250-300 million viewers." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has "not hidden his interest in penetrating this region, where only one Grand Prix is held -- in Brazil." Mediapro's "bet on this region is nothing new." The company has offices in Buenos Aires, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia. Ecclestone has previously said, "It is clear that we lack races in Latin America and we are looking closely at this part of the world" (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 3/24).
German sports network Sport1 "recorded season-best ratings for its broadcast of the 2nd Bundesliga game between FC Kaiserslautern and FC Cologne on March 17," according to Alexander Krei of DWDL. An average of 1.24 million viewers tuned in to watch Sport1's broadcast. In the target demographic 14-49, the 0-0 draw obtained a market share of 6%. The game had a peak audience of 1.9 million viewers. Pay-TV channel Sky, which also aired the game, attracted 170,000 viewers to its broadcast and obtained a 0.6% share. The 2nd Bundesliga games on Friday and Saturday were also very popular and were watched by an average of 190,000 viewers. The market shares on Saturday reached 1.9% in the target demographic. On Sunday, the second division games attracted an average of 350,000 viewers.
WINTER SPORTS: German public broadcaster ZDF attracted 3.43 million viewers for the broadcast of women's biathlon mass start race on Sunday. The race, which started at 1pm, obtained a market share of 21.6%. The men's mass start race, which aired later during the afternoon, was watched by 3.03 million viewers and had a 17.2% share. In between the two biathlon races, ZDF showed speed skating, which attracted 1.53 million viewers starting at 2:24pm. The event had a market share of 9.7% (DWDL, 3/24).