The Premier League season "will again be littered with old rivalries when it kicks off on Saturday," according to Simon Goodley of the London GUARDIAN. Not least "will be the competition played out on television screens between Sky Sports and BT Sport." This season's added dimension "consists of a new head-to-head between the channel's analysts:" Sky's Gary Neville against his former ManU and int'l teammate, BT's new signing Paul Scholes. But "despite these arrivals and last year's encouraging start, in broadcasting terms BT Sport remains way behind Sky." That "is partly to do with the rights each side possesses." BT spent £738M ($1.2B) over three years for 38 live Premier League matches a season, including 18 "first picks." But, to put that into perspective, Sky paid a total of £2.3B ($3.8B) for 116 matches per season "over the same period, with 20 weeks when it gets its choice of games" (GUARDIAN, 8/14).
English Premier League fans on the Chinese mainland "are getting the added options of watching the games online," according to Ma Yue of the SHANGHAI DAILY. Beijing-based Supersports has the rights until the '18-19 season and reportedly paid more than 1B yuan ($162.5M) "for the exclusive mainland deal." As TV viewers "fretted if the games would be broadcast live, PPTV.com, a video and live program provider, struck a deal" at $11M for 380 games this season. That "was a massive jump" from last year’s $1.1M. PPTV will offer four matches free for online viewing "but will charge for the other matches." PPTV Marketing Dir Zhou Liang said that it "would decide on the exact fees after taking Supersports, which also has its own website, charges into account." Supersports "is offering four of the 10 first-round EPL games for free on its website www.ssports.com" (SHANGHAI DAILY, 8/14).
French sports channel Canal+ will televise live coverage of all races in the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship for the next three seasons. In a deal brokered by int'l media company MP & Silva, Canal+ will have exclusive broadcasting rights for live races covering the entire French region, along with Andorra and Monaco. In addition, it will air a delayed highlights program reviewing the Formula E action together with pre-race build up, podium celebrations and driver interviews. Canal+ has a current estimated household reach of six million homes and joins previously announced broadcasters Fox Sports, TV Asahi, ITV4 and CCTV, which have all committed to showing live coverage of Formula E races (Formula E).
Its new dedicated European football channel "only launched on Tuesday but Sky Sports could soon find itself without" both the Champions League and La Liga as BT Sport weighs up a bid for the Spanish top flight, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Sky "has kept an iron grip on La Liga, the home of Real Madrid and Barcelona, for almost two decades but its contract expires at the end of the season, opening the door for its newest and biggest rival to snatch the rights from 2015." That is exactly what BT Sport did with the Champions League last year, "blowing Sky out of the water" by paying £897M to show UEFA’s club competitions exclusively for three years. It "would also represent a huge statement of intent from BT Sport ahead of the Premier League auction, which is expected to begin at the turn of the year." The warring media giants "could also battle it out for the rights to the International Cricket Council’s major tournaments, which were put out to tender last month." Another highly-prized set of rights "will be England’s autumn rugby internationals, which include next summer’s warm-up matches for the World Cup" (TELEGRAPH, 8/13).
German public broadcaster ZDF "obtained more than 7 million viewers for its broadcast of the German Football League (DFL) Super Cup on Wednesday," according to Weis & Phuong of QUOTENMETER. The game between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, which started at 6pm, attracted 7.26 million viewers. The number translated into a market share of 33.8%. In the target demographic 14-49, Dortmund's 2-0 win obtained a 24.1% share. German pay-TV channel Sky, which also aired the game, attracted an average of 200,000 to its broadcast, including 120,000 in the target demo. Sky's coverage obtained market shares of 0.9% and 1.7%, respectively (QUOTENMETER, 8/14).
BT Sport enters the Premier League '14-15 season this Saturday "with footballer pundits Ian Wright and Robbie Savage leading its coverage." Former Arsenal player Wright "will join BT's panel of analysts" for live matches in the Premier League and the FA Cup, as well as other football programming. Former Wales int'l and Leicester City midfielder Robbie Savage "will also join the punditry team" and co-host a new Saturday morning show -- "Matchday Live with Fletch & Sav" -- alongside presenter Darren Fletcher (MEDIA WEEK, 8/14). ... Thailand's Channel 3 "has scored rights to live-broadcast 23 English Premier League matches" starting a week after the league kicks off on Saturday. CTH paid 10 billion baht in exchange for EPL broadcasting rights in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos for the '13-16 seasons (BANGKOK POST, 8/14). ... A "passionate racehorse trainer prepared to pay for advertising space to have his views on corporate bookmakers heard has been told his ad won't be accepted by racing industry-owned publication Winning Post." Paul Banks, who trains at Bendigo, said that "he first attempted to have his thoughts on corporate bookmakers and their impact on Australian racing published in a letters-to-the-editor column in the publication, but the copy that appeared was so changed from the original version that he decided to book a page advertisement in this week's edition" (THE AGE, 8/13). ... Mobile provider Binbit announced an agreement with FC Barcelona for the exclusive distribution of information and digital content of the club through mobile devices. This agreement includes 40 countries in Latin America, Asia and East Europe. The deal includes the next three football seasons (Binbit). ... The ISF, the int'l softball division of the World Baseball Softball Confederation -- has announced that all 67 games of the 14th Women's Softball World Championship will be web-streamed. The championship featuring the top sixteen national teams begins Friday in Haarlem, Netherlands. Coverage of the Women's World Championship will be available globally through live web streaming as well as archived (on demand) on a subscription basis via ISFsoftball.org (WBSC).