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Volume 10 No. 22


BBC Sport’s hold on live TV rights to the Open Championship for more than half a century "could end in 2016 when their contract expires," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Tournament organizers the R&A, which has "not considered any other TV partners" for most of its 59 years with the BBC, is "now more open to accept an offer from Sky," which dominates golf coverage for the rest of the year. R&A CEO Peter Dawson "left the door ajar for Sky at Royal Birkdale two years ago when he declared it was not a foregone conclusion that the BBC would win the next TV contract." And certainly R&A opinion "has shifted a lot further towards a subscription TV partner with the astonishing deal done in America by Fox Sports" which, with no previous golf experience, has paid more than $1B over 12 years for U.S. Open rights. This "is regarded as a game-changer on both sides of the Atlantic, with the USGA prepared to relinquish their long partnership with NBC in return for a mountain of dollars." Sky, which has shored up its golf contracts after arch-rivals BT Sport made a bid for the PGA tour, is "certain to want to add to their portfolio a flagship event such as The Open." If it puts enough money on the table, the likelihood is that it will. The Open Championship "is no longer protected as a listed event that has to be shown live on terrestrial television" (DAILY MAIL, 7/16). In London, Daniel Schofield wrote Dawson "attempted to play down speculation that the corporation's congract will not be renewed." But "money talks" in even the most traditional places and Dawson said the R&A is "increasingly conscious of the commercial landscape." Dawson: "The value of golf rights has accelerated dramatically, particularly in the United States just in the last 12 months. And that’s perhaps a bigger item in the equation than it might otherwise have been, that’s for sure. But it’s massively premature to speculate on what might occur” (LONDON TIMES, 7/17).

German public broadcaster ARD "recorded top ratings for its broadcast of the German national team's welcome home party in Berlin on Tuesday," according to Sidney Schering of QUOTENMETER. An average of 5.83 million viewers tuned in starting at 10am "to watch the team celebrate its World Cup title with several hundred thousand fans at the Brandenburg Gate." The close to four-hour coverage obtained a market share of 54.3%. In the target demographic 14-49, ARD's coverage had a market share of 48.6% as 1.81 million viewers tuned in. Germany's second public broadcaster ZDF, which also showed the celebration starting at 11:20am, attracted 1.43 million viewers and had a 12% market share. In the target demographic, ZDF obtained an 11.6% share while 470,000 viewers tuned in (QUOTENMETER, 7/16).

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games "are set to be live streamed on YouTube with the aim to 'extend the reach' of the Games." Live output from the Games every day "is set to be followed by two-hour long daily highlights." The coverage will be available across Europe, the U.S., South America and parts of Asia: where Glasgow 2014 retains Internet rights (THE DRUM, 7/15). ... German pay-TV sports channel sportdigital "will add Belgium’s first-division football league to its schedule and report live from the Jupiler League" starting with the '14-15 season (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 7/16). ... Spanish broadcaster Atresmedia, "which includes Antena 3 and laSexta, among other channels," on Tuesday announced it acquired the rights to Barcelona's five preseason games ahead of the upcoming campaign. Atresmedia, however, did not announce which channels will carry which games. Telecinco, "meanwhile, will broadcast" Real Madrid's Int'l Champions Cup matches (AS, 7/16).