South Korea's Korea Baseball Organization "launched an English-language service on its website," according to Kim & Jung of the KOREA TIMES. The league has operated a site in Korean for 18 years, "but aside from a short-lived attempt in 2003 has offered little online information in English." Choi Won-jun, the KBO official in charge of the project, said, “We felt the KBO needed to keep up with the times and with the increasing demand from foreign fans." The service, eng.koreabaseball.com, "provides information about the league, game schedules and player statistics." Sports agency Sports2i "began work on the project early this year under a contract with the league." Choi "declined to reveal how much the site construction cost." Lotte Giants pitcher Shane Youman, an American who has been in the league since '12, said the site would be a “big time” help not only for int'l fans, but for the players themselves. Youman said, "All of us here playing will definitely be able to share this with everyone that we know back in the States, or wherever else we may be from" (KOREA TIMES, 4/9).
German pay-TV channel Sky Deutschland "has set a new Champions League ratings record for its broadcast of the quarterfinal return leg between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. The game, which started at 8:45pm, attracted an average of 1.23 million viewers on Tuesday night. It was Sky's "highest Champions League viewership number of the year." The number translated into a market share of 4.2%. In the target demographic 14-49, Dortmund's 2-0 win obtained a market share of 6.3% (QUOTENMETER, 4/9).
IN SPAIN: The EP reported the Dortmund-Real clash drew 7.4 million viewers on Spanish broadcaster TVE's La1, which translated to a market share of 39.6%. The match's audience peaked at 10.3 million viewers (EP, 4/9).
A Spanish court "has ruled in favor of public broadcaster TVE pushing to acquire broadcast rights for the Champions League, saying the broadcaster can enter the 'high-value' bidding because the content is 'compatible' with its mission of public service," according to the EFE. The court's ruling said, "The TVE Corporation has the right to access high-value content, as long as it is compatible with its mission of serving the public." TVE said that the ruling cannot "prohibit the broadcaster from pushing for the rights, only from overvaluing them." The court's ruling "highlighted the public's high interest in sports" (EFE, 4/9).
German pay-TV channel Sky Deutschland "has extended its exclusive media rights deal with the All England Lawn Tennis Club Wimbledon through '18," according to Uwe Mantel of DWDL. The new deal "guarantees Sky exclusive rights for the 'most prestigious' Grand Slam tournament in Germany and Austria." In addition to TV broadcast rights, the extension "also includes Internet, IPTV and mobile rights." Sky Sports Dir Burkhard Weber said, "With an unparalleled mixture of tradition and elite sports, the tournament in Wimbledon is one of the highlights of every sports year." Sky's marketing arm, Sky Media Network, "is expecting an increased demand for the event and wants to increase its offerings." The deal "was brokered by Wimbledon's marketing partner IMG Media" (DWDL, 4/9).
Bundesliga club FC Schalke, which launched official accounts on Chinese social media sites Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo in February, has already attracted several hundred thousand followers. On Sina Weibo, the club has more than 200,000 followers after less than two months. In addition, Schalke's Tencent Weibo account has more than 60,000 followers (FC Schalke). ... Mexican boxer Saúl Canelo Álvarez announced on his Instagram account that his fight scheduled for July 12 will not be broadcast by Mexico's Televisa (LA AFICION, 4/8). ... Portugal Telecom "has launched" two separate marketing initiatives over the last two weeks. Players from PT sponsored clubs "have been displaying different PT brands on their shirts, depending on their age, whilst the company is separately sponsoring a mixed five-a-side football competition in schools" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 4/9). ... The Int'l Paralympic Committee and Infostrada Sports, a full service sport and media company, have extended their partnership agreement for another four years until after the PyeongChang2018 Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea. Over the period, Infostrada Sports will research, collect, update, store and distribute biographical information for more than 10,000 athletes competing in major sport events organized by the IPC in its roles as an int'l federation for nine para-sports (IPC). ... UAE pay-TV network OSN "will bring all the action" from the Indian Premier League live to the fans. Twenty matches will be played in the UAE, kicking off on April 16 (GULF NEWS, 4/9).
BARCELONA MILESTONE: Barcelona announced that it has gained more than 20 million followers on social media since the start of the year. The club has added around 210,000 followers per day. Barcelona entered '14 with 110 million fans on its various social media channels. It now has more than 60 million fans on Facebook, including more than a million in Cairo, which recently became the first city to pass that milestone (Barcelona).