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Volume 10 No. 25


State broadcaster China Central Television Station "kicked off an auction on Thursday for advertising during the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil," according to Qiu Bo of the CHINA DAILY. Two months before the tournament, CCTV "held a fair to preheat the auction." More than 700 representatives from advertising agencies and companies nationwide "were in attendance." CCTV Sports Chief Jiang Heping said that CCTV "is the World Cup's sole media rights holder for the Chinese mainland." A CCTV statement said that many big sports-related names, including Nike, adidas and Castrol, "successfully cornered World Cup advertising slots before the end of last year." The statement said that Chinese business-to-consumer platform Tmall will spend 141M yuan ($22.8M) to sponsor the top-scorer board, and Nike will pay 46M yuan ($7.4M) "for naming rights of a program during the event" (CHINA DAILY, 4/10).

NBC Sports Network averaged 594,000 viewers for the Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday, marking the net’s best F1 audience since it began airing races last year and also marking the best non-U.S. F1 race on cable TV in three years. The telecast from 10:30am-12:53pm was the best-rated cable TV F1 race since Speed drew 627,000 viewers for the Monaco GP in ’11. NBCSN’s previous high for an F1 race was last year’s Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 3 with 354,000 viewers. Through three races, NBCSN is averaging 364,000 viewers, marking the best average through this point in the season in a decade -- dating back to 382,000 viewers for Speed in ’04. NBCSN also is up 206% compared to the same point last season and up 46% compared to Speed in ’12. Both the ‘13 and ’12 seasons saw the first three races air live at either 1:30am, 2:30am or 3:30am.

German public broadcaster ZDF "has attracted more than 10 million people to its broadcast of the Champions League quarterfinal return leg between Bayern Munich and ManU," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. A total of 10.42 million viewers tuned in to watch the game, which started at 8:45pm on Wednesday night. The game's "viewership surpassed ZDF's previous best of 9.4 million for a Champions League broadcast." The number translated into a market share of 33.8%. In the target demographic 14-49, Bayern's 3-1 win was watched by 3.37 million viewers and had a market share of 28.2% (QUOTENMETER, 4/10).

German sports network Sport1 "has acquired platform neutral media rights for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. Sport1 Program Dir Olaf Schröder said that Sport1 "will show a minimum of 18 games." Due to the fact that Sport1 purchased platform neutral rights, it "can decide what games it will show on free-TV channel Sport1 or on pay-TV channel Sport1+." Schröder: "Top stars from the NBA and the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, which we have in our program on Sport1 US and Sport1, will fight in front of basketball-crazed spectators in Spain's biggest arenas for the basketball crown" (QUOTENMETER, 4/10).

A "full blown war of words" is taking place between and the -owned multi-system operator "after the latter removed signals of channels of the global from its packages and offered it for the more expensive pick and choose option," according to the PTI. Star Sports accused the multi-system-operator of violating Telecom Regulatory Authority of India regulations "by not informing customers in advance before offering its channels on a-la-carte basis." Hathway said that "it has followed all the rules and regulations of the regulator." The dispute started after Hathway, a leading multi-system-operator with more than 11 million subscribers in 140 cities, "removed Star Sports bouquet of four channels from its regular package and asked its viewers to pay a-la-carte to subscribe." When asked about the reason for putting Star Sports channels on a-la-carte basis, Hathway Managing Dir & CEO Jagdish Kumar G. Pillai said, "We have been paying them on a fixed pay basis, which worked out to be a very unreasonable amount on a 'per subscriber' basis" (PTI, 4/10).