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Volume 10 No. 24


The NFL and Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced a three-year partnership to make Tencent Sports the exclusive live digital streaming media partner of the NFL in China. Tencent will air live and on-demand select preseason games, all Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games, as well as select Sunday afternoon games, the playoffs, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl for the '17, '18 and '19 seasons. The partnership also features other footage and programming rights such as the NFL Draft, NFL Combine and NFL Game Day, as well as programming such as NFL Hard Knocks and A Football Life, making Tencent the home of the NFL in China. NFL live games and content will be available for fans through Tencent's NFL sections on mobile and desktop terminals (NFL). The AFP reported financial details were not disclosed. The NFL has "traditionally lagged" the NBA and European football leagues "in drawing a Chinese following." But the NFL has "pushed aggressively" in recent years and reports growing interest as Chinese consumers armed with smartphones seek "more diverse sources" of mobile sport and entertainment. The NFL said that its digital live-streaming viewership in China grew 17% in '16 to 37 million viewers while video-on-demand jumped 52% to 282 million views, under contracts with previous partners (AFP, 8/21).

Australian telecom Optus and Australian gaming operator Tabcorp signed a deal to broadcast the Premier League and 2018 World Cup "across the wagering company's Sky Racing venues," according to Max Mason of the AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW. The two-year deal will see Optus "address one of the major weaknesses in its Optus Sport offering," the access to the "lucrative pubs and clubs market." The agreement with Tabcorp will open up 4,500 venues across Australia to Optus Sport and the telecom "could potentially use the distribution network to help it leverage any future sports rights deals it strikes as it looks to expand its content offering." The new deal with Tabcorp will see Optus Sport 1, the telecom's 24-hour EPL channel, "put onto Sky Racing set-top boxes." It will also include an option to watch a second live game when multiple games are being played. Sky Racing channels will remain unchanged (AFR, 8/21).

BT Sport signed "yet another live deal," this time with Twitter, to showcase football results show BT Sport Score to viewers in the U.K., according to Rebecca Stewart of THE DRUM. The announcement follows "a slew of experiments from the broadcaster around the way it delivers sport and highlights to fans." The latest collaboration with Twitter will tap into BT Sport's plans to make its content "as widely available as possible" by allowing millions of U.K. Twitter users to "tune into key highlights of BT Sport's weekend line-up at no cost." The show will be streamed via @btsportscore on Twitter each Saturday afternoon, with coverage "typically starting" at 2:30pm. The move plays into Twitter's strategy of "partnering with media companies rather than disrupting them" (THE DRUM, 8/18).

Russian marketing agency Telesport secured exclusive rights to La Liga. The deal is reportedly "long-term" and for "more than two years." Industry sources believe the deal is worth in the region of $5M-10M (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 8/21).

Fox Sports will deliver exclusive live coverage of Australia's tour of Bangladesh. Beginning on Sunday in Dhaka, the Aussies will take on the locals across two Tests in what will be their last outing before they host the Ashes on home soil (Fox Sports). 

MTG secured the rights to "show Europe’s leading handball league." Up to three matches a week will be shown from the DKB Handball-Bundesliga on Viasat channels in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden for the next six seasons. The action will be available on TV, online and on mobile. The '17-18 season starts on Thursday (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 8/21).

Polish DTH platform nc+ "jointly launched a new sports service with Grupa Onet-RAS Polska." It includes sports video content from nc+ channels as well as sports content from all Polish TV channels from Grupa Onet-RAS Polska (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 8/21).

Taiwan is the latest Eleven Sports market to secure live and exclusive online coverage of the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. The Taiwan public can secure access to the fight, including the full undercard, via a Fight Pass subscription for a one-time payment of NT$199 ($6.50) (Eleven Sports). 

The Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain-Toulouse match broadcast on Canal+ drew an average audience of 1.5 million, translating to a 7.3% market share. The match, which PSG won 6-2, was Neymar’s debut at PSG’s Parc des Princes (L’ÉQUIPE, 8/21).