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Volume 6 No. 212


TV advertising rates for Sunday's cricket final between India and Pakistan, which Pakistan won by 180 runs, were 10 times the normal price, industry sources said, as millions of fans were "expected to tune in for a clash that last time ranked among the six most-watched sporting events," according to Miglani & Chakraborty of REUTERS. Pakistan, the lowest-ranked team at the Champions Trophy tournament, upset host and favorite England to "set up a final" with defending champion India. A 30-second spot during the final, broadcast by Rupert Murdoch's Star Sports, was expected to cost "nearly" 10M rupees ($155,267), "far higher" than the 1M rupees ($15,512) that advertisers pay on average for most Indian shows, a person involved in buying ads said. Most of the TV spots for the final, played in London, "were pre-booked" with firms such as Nissan Motor, Intel, Emirates, Chinese brand Oppo and Indian tire maker MRF signed up as commercial partners for the tournament.

Before the Champions Trophy, the last time India and Pakistan played a one-day int'l was during the 2015 World Cup. That game, won by India, "was one of the top-six most viewed sporting events." A source said, "That was a league game, this is the final. You can expect this to be even bigger" (REUTERS, 6/17).

U.K. broadcasters "look like they have scored spectacular own goals" when spending billions on "expensive football rights," according to Daniel Thomas of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Average viewers for U.K. games "unexpectedly dropped sharply this season" -- down some 14% on Sky, which shows the most matches. The decision to "postpone the auction of Italian football rights this week was a further sign that broadcasters' appetites are not limitless," with Mediaset saying that it would "rethink its bidding strategy in January." The market for football rights "appears to be peaking -- and may already have done so" in the U.K. Louis Capital "made the bear case starkly." The broker said that BT spending £2B ($2.55B) for football over three years implied a break-even of £34.30 ($43.78) per month per subscriber, "which will never be achieved," adding that the company’s customer growth in TV is "coming to a halt." A "dwindling list of bidders will worry sports bosses." The tech groups "muscling their way into broadcasting -- Netflix and Amazon in particular -- have so far shown little interest in football rights." Instead, "it is the linear TV incumbents that have propped up the sport, like old friends holding each other up at the bar." Football bosses are "trying to come up with new wheezes to keep viewers." There is "talk of Premier League night games on a Saturday." Broadcasters said that more people "are watching on their streaming services but this is unlikely to be enough to offset losses on linear TV for some time" (FT, 6/16).

Tencent Sports reached an agreement with FIFA to become the exclusive digital media rights holder in China for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. The deal will see the online sports platform provide live streaming of the tournament, as well as offering video-on-demand, highlights and original programs "across its various digital channels." Tencent Sports also acquired the exclusive media rights in China for the 2017 U17 World Cup, which will be held in India in October (SOCCEREX, 6/16).

FIBA and Greek public broadcaster ERT announced an agreement for the '17-21 cycle of FIBA events. The agreement is in place for all of Greece's games at FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017, FIBA EuroBasket 2017, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers and Final Round as well as the FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers and Final Round. ERT will also broadcast all Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for men and women for the Tokyo 2020 Games (FIBA). 

Spain's National Commission of Markets & Competition (CNMC) fined La Liga for "impeding Mediaset channels' access to football stadiums." It is the CNMC's "first formal fine to La Liga after the competition started managing broadcasting rights of every football club in the country." The fine, against which La Liga is entitled to appeal, is €250,000 ($280,000) (RAPID TV NEWS, 6/17).

Spain's top broadcasters "are finalizing their initial offers for the rights to the Champions League from the '18-19 season through '20-21." Offers must be submitted by Tuesday. From there, "each broadcaster will negotiate with UEFA individually." Antena 3 and TV3, which currently have the free-TV rights, "will fight to keep them." They will also face competition from Mediaset and TVE. It is "possible" that the Champions League could end up being carried exclusively by pay-TV channels -- which has been the case in the U.K. since '15 (AS, 6/17).