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Volume 10 No. 22


The Indian Premier League radio commentary in three languages "has become a big hit all over the Middle East," according to K.R. Nayar of GULF NEWS. Channel 2 Group Corp. Chair and Cricket Radio Founder Ajay Sethi said, “We are providing live ball-by-ball coverage of the seventh edition of the IPL in English, Hindi and Malayalam. The Channel 2 group are the exclusive radio rights holders in UAE and Middle East and the response towards our commentaries have been splendid." As the exclusive right holders for the coverage, "strong measures are in place to prevent radio piracy." Sethi: “As we are the only exclusive radio station who has the rights to broadcast the IPL, we are very keen to protect our rights as many stations try to use our live updates and commercialize their coverage through advertisements. There is huge interest from sponsors and so we with the IPL team will take all appropriate action to counter this piracy against some Asian stations. In fact, we have issued notices to all to respect the law of the land" (GULF NEWS, 4/17).

German public broadcaster ARD "attracted close to 9 million viewers to its broadcast of the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) semifinal between Bayern Munich and FC Kaiserslautern," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. A total of 8.71 million viewers tuned in to watch Bayern Munich advance to the final. The number translated into a market share of 28.2%. In the target demographic 14-49, Bayern's 5-1 win over the 2nd Bundesliga side obtained a market share of 23.8% (QUOTENMETER, 4/17).

COPA DEL REY: Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Barcelona on Wednesday in the finals of the Copa del Rey attracted an audience of 11 million on Spanish public broadcaster TVE, which translated to a market share of 60%. It was the most watched broadcast of the year so far on Spanish TV. The last time the two clubs met in the finals of the Copa del Rey was '11. That match drew an audience of 11.4 million viewers on TVE's La 1 (EP, 4/17). AS reported during the broadcast, a TVE survey asking fans to vote for the match's MVP on social media using the hashtag #MVPCopa "saw 75% of voters select Barcelona goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto" after Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria gave his team a 1-0 lead. TVE "decided to erase those votes" (AS, 4/17).

Sponsoring the broadcast of all 64 World Cup matches "may be the popular thing to do," but the Singaporean government "will not do so," according to Irene Tham of the STRAITS TIMES. Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information Lawrence Wong said this is because using public funds in that way would not achieve the "delicate balance" required to protect consumers' interest. He gave the government's stand on the use of Public Service Broadcast funds, in response to four Members of Parliament who asked "what more could be done to make popular sports content such as the World Cup more affordable." Singapore viewers have to pay SingTel S$112 ($89) or an early-bird price of S$94 ($75) -- "possibly the highest globally" -- to watch the matches that kick off in June. But four key World Cup matches -- the opening game, semifinals and final -- will be broadcast on free-to-air channels, as they are in the "anti-siphoning list" of content that pay-TV providers cannot acquire exclusively. If the list goes any longer, pay-TV operators "would have little incentive to acquire the rights to broadcast the full set of World Cup matches." Wong: "Doing so would then divert a significant portion of PSB monies" (STRAITS TIMES, 4/17). THE NEW PAPER's Foo Jie Ying wrote it "is not known how much SingTel paid for the rights to screen the matches." For the last World Cup, it was reported that SingTel and StarHub forked out between S$40M and S$100M. Wong said that content owners like FIFA are price-setters who are "not obligated to sell their content at a price they do not agree with" (NEW PAPER, 4/17).

The Women's Champions League semifinal game between German sides Turbine Potsdam and VfL Wolfsburg "will be broadcast after all," according to the DPA. Potsdam "has reached an agreement with local public broadcaster RBB to livestream the match." RBB "will show the game on Saturday at 2pm." Prior to its agreement with RBB, Potsdam was unable "to come to terms with pan-European sports network Eurosport." The two parties "were unable to agree on a kickoff time." Eurosport "was willing to live broadcast the game, however, due to other program responsibilities, the channel asked the club to postpone the game by two-and-a-half hours to 4:30pm." Potsdam "denied this request." Turbine coach Bernd Schröder said, "It isn't some ordinary Bundesliga game, it is the Champions League semifinal" (DPA, 4/17).

ONE World Sports will present live coverage of the Kontinental Hockey League Gagarin Cup Finals (ONE World Sports). ... Bundesliga side FC Augsburg has launched an official smartphone app. The app, which includes team news, standings, statistics and player information, will be available for Android, iOS, Blackberry OS and Windows Phone devices (FC Augsburg).