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Volume 10 No. 25


BBC Northern Ireland secured a new four-season deal to provide live coverage of Ulster's matches in the Guinness Pro12. In the league section of the competition, BBC Two NI will broadcast Ulster home and away games which are not being shown live on Sky Sports. The matches that Sky selects will be live on BBC Radio Ulster. BBC NI has also secured live TV coverage of any playoff match involving Ulster -- including finals. Matches being broadcast live on BBC NI Television and radio will also be streamed online with video highlights of all matches also going up on the BBC Sport NI website. Stephen Watson will present the BBC Sport NI's Pro12 TV coverage with Nikki Gregg anchoring Radio Ulster's Pro12 broadcasts. With Jim Neilly in the commentary box, analysis and co-commentary will come from a range of ex-players, including Ryan Constable, Bryn Cunningham, Andy Ward, Tony McWhirter and Maurice Field (BBC).

The PGA Tour and ESPN Int'l announced Wednesday they have reached a five-year rights agreement to continue presenting coverage of PGA Tour events across all media in Latin America and the Caribbean. The rights extension provides ESPN Int'l with live media rights on its linear and digital platforms and extends the relationship with the PGA Tour in Latin American through '19. Under the agreement, ESPN will have exclusive rights to carry up to 12 PGA Tour events every year that include The Players Championship annually and The Presidents Cup every two years -- '15 and '17. ESPN will also have rights to air support programming such as Inside The PGA Tour and Official Films. PGA Tour Exec VP of Global Media Rick Anderson said, "With golf returning to the Olympics in two years in Brazil, ESPN's significant presence on both television and digital platforms will assist us with reaching the largest possible audience." ESPN’s coverage of the PGA Tour events will be provided across a variety of the brand’s multimedia platforms including TV, broadband and mobile applications. ESPN will also have rights to distribute additional PGA Tour content from select tournaments across its digital platforms. This content includes coverage from up to four competition holes as well as the featured groups of the day (PGA Tour).

Fox Sports "acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for the UEFA Europa League in Hong Kong" for three seasons, starting with the '15-16 season, according to ADVANCED TELEVISION. This "is the first time Fox Sports has acquired the rights to the UEFA Europa League in Asia." The multimedia platform deal covers linear channels, IPTV, Internet and mobile, "with access to all 205 matches over 15 match-weeks." The Europa League "has also increased in significance" as the winner from the '14-15 season onward will gain direct entry to the Champions League for the following season (ADVANCED TELEVISION, 8/20). TELECOM PAPER reported Hong Kong's i-Cable, the official broadcaster of the Champions League in Hong Kong, has extended all media rights for another three seasons from 2015 to 2018." Spanning TV, new media and mobile platforms, the acquisition "allows i-Cable to bring local viewers" the tournament featuring the continent's strongest football clubs. This extension "will make i-Cable official UCL broadcaster for nine straight years" from '09-18. I-Cable will bring viewers about 100 Champions League matches every season, "including selected games from the Play-offs and Group Stage as well as all matches from Round 16 through to the Final" (TELECOM PAPER, 8/19).

German public broadcaster ZDF "recorded below average ratings for its broadcast of the Champions League qualification game between Leverkusen and Copenhagen," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. An average of 3.73 million viewers tuned in to watch the game on Tuesday. The number translated into a market share of 13.2%. In the target demographic 14-49, Leverkusen's 3-2 win had a market share of 8%. In comparison, Monday's DFB-Pokal (German Cup) game, which aired on ARD, attracted close to 5.3 million viewers (QUOTENMETER, 8/20).