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Volume 6 No. 212


The "richest horse race" in Queensland is now part of Seven West Media's "growing sport broadcast portfolio after a long-term agreement was signed with Magic Millions Sales Pty Ltd.," according to Clare Kenyon of the WEST AUSTRALIAN. The deal comes "just weeks after SWM" locked in the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (WEST AUSTRALIAN, 9/2). In Sydney, Darren Davidson reported Magic Millions co-Owners Gerry Harvey and Katie Page, the "husband and wife team" behind retail major Harvey Norman, "are betting a switch from previous rights holder Nine to the home of racing will prove to be a step up for the carnival as they seek to reach more viewers and export the rights to international markets." Page said, "Channel 7 own racing and do an extraordinary job. The brand that wasn't sitting in the tent was Magic Millions. We were the last part of the jigsaw." For Seven, the "multi-platform tie-up continues its aggressive push into sports rights and ­extends its growing links to Queensland, where the top-rated network has a large regional ­audience." Financial terms of the Magic Millions agreement were not ­disclosed (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/2).

An illegal Premier League football streaming nerve center "has been uncovered inside a house in Manchester," according to Richard Wheatstone of the London MIRROR. Specialist detectives said the arrest of a 27-year-old man at the address in Cheetham Hill was one of their "biggest yet." The set-up included "12 computer servers streaming sports events from across the globe." The equipment "was seized and will now be examined by specialists." Illegal sports streaming websites "are estimated to cost the television industry" around £10M ($16M) each year (MIRROR, 9/2). In Manchester, Richard Wheatstone wrote officers found "an 'industrial-scale' bank of computers and hi-tech equipment," suspected to be supporting "scores of illegal streaming sites." The arrest was made by the Police Intellectual Property Unit, which was set up last year "to crack down on copyright infringement." The unit is funded by the Intellectual Property Office (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 9/2)

Sky Sports faces an investigation from media regulator Ofcom after its Transfer Deadline Day coverage "descended into farce," according to Alex Richards of the London MIRROR. Sky Sports News "has been forced to apologize after it broadcast swearing and scenes involving a fan waving a sex toy during its coverage on Monday evening." Reporters stationed up and down the country "had to deal with reporting from outside club's training grounds in front of supporters, and had to apologise on a number of occasions for swearing" (MIRROR, 9/2). In London, Ben Rumsby wrote Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol "was removed from his station at Selhurst Park on Monday night" following a demonstration by a Palace supporters' group -- Holmesdale Fanatics -- against Sky Sports' football coverage. The group chanted, "We ----ing hate Sky Sports," and carried a long banner reading, "SKY SPORTS - KILLING OUR GAME SINCE 1992." A second reporter, Geraint Hughes, "also left his post outside Arsenal's ground on the advice of his security detail before continuing his updates" on Danny Welbeck's move from ManU from inside the Emirates Stadium (TELEGRAPH, 9/2). Also in London, Dugald Baird wrote TV comic Simon Brodkin "turned up in character as his footballer creation Jason Bent," claiming he had signed for Queens Park Rangers to "play in the Premiership this season and in the Championship next season." The complaints "are being assessed before the watchdog decides whether to investigate the coverage." The channel, which broadcast more than 270 live reports in 24 hours, "has not had any direct complaints" (GUARDIAN, 9/2).

Spain's 82-63 win on Monday against Brazil in the group stage of the FIBA World Cup drew an audience of 3 million viewers and a market share of 18.2% on Mediaset's Cuatro, according to AS. The host nation's victory's audience was 500,000 larger than the second-most watched program of the day, Antena 3's airing of the movie Sin Salida. On "the other hand, only 215,000 (2.4% market share) tuned in to watch the France-Egypt game" (AS, 9/2).

The England & Wales Cricket Board has appointed media company Sunset+Vine to represent it in a four-year archive rights deal. The ECB archive includes rights for all England internationals and domestic matches played in England and Wales, from '95 to the present day to the end of the '13 season, as well as int'l rights for these games pre-'95. The ECB archive covers Test matches, One Day Internationals, Twenty-20s and all county cricket competitions. Sunset+Vine will not only be representing rights deals for the ECB's archive, but will also be developing the ECB catalog as well as producing programming opportunities for broadcasters drawn from existing archive footage (ECB).

Game of Thrones’ "most fiendish villain is rugby union’s greatest supporter." Lord Tywin Lannister, played by British actor Charles Dance, "has featured in an advertisement designed to stir passion" of U.K. rugby supporters ahead of next year’s World Cup. The clip "features British rugby royalty including Sam Warburton, Adam Jones and Joe Launchbury standing alongside fans listening to Dance’s emotional oration" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/2). ... ONE World Sports signed a new, multi-year, multi-platform rights partnership with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), negotiated for the KHL by UFA Sports GmbH. ONE World Sports will carry up to 99 live games, including 50 regular season contests, and will provide complete coverage of the postseason concluding with the Gagarin Cup Finals in April. The network drops the puck on the '14-15 KHL season on Wednesday (ONE World Sports).