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Volume 6 No. 192


Twitter "reaffirmed its interest" in the Australian Football League, as AFL execs "begin to cast an eye" toward the next round of broadcast rights that could involve Amazon, according to Jon Pierik of THE AGE. On Wednesday, Twitter revealed it would "continue to embrace posting highlights of the AFL," including in partnership with the league's free-to-air broadcaster, Channel Seven. Twitter Global VP of Revenue & Operations Matthew Derella said that "live is at the core of Twitter." He said, "Asia Pacific is the growth engine of Twitter and we could not be prouder to extend our success with both live streaming and in-stream premium video content in the region." Amazon "has spread into a variety of fields" and now has a market capitalization of more than A$300B ($239.4B). It is "increasingly searching for live sports content for its Prime video." AFL Chair Richard Goyder said that there was "no reason why Amazon could not emerge as a major player" when the league's six-year, A$2.5B ($1.99B) deal expires in '22. Goyder said, "Amazon may end up being even bigger disruptors in the media and financial services than it does in retail" (THE AGE, 9/13).

IN GERMANY: SOCCEREX reported Amazon Music acquired the rights to broadcast audio of Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga games online. The streams will be available to Amazon Prime members in Germany "at no extra charge." In addition, Amazon will hold the radio rights for German teams involved in Champions League and Europa League matches, and the audio rights to the German FA (DFB) Cup, which are available to subscribers of Amazon Music Unlimited, "which carries a further subscription cost" (SOCCEREX, 9/13).

The "jury will be out for some time" on whether the English Football League's new £120M ($158M)-a-year TV rights contract with Sky is a "good deal" for the 72 clubs, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. On the plus side, the club's have guaranteed TV income until '24 "after signing a five-year extension to the deal that was to end after next season." Clubs will have "unprecedented freedom" to stream or televise their own matches outside Sky's live games and the protected Saturday 3pm fixtures. But "there will be critics," led by Derby County Owner Mel Morris, about the length of time that the EFL committed itself to Sky "during an ever-changing broadcast landscape." The EFL admitted in its letter to clubs on Tuesday, "Bids were lower than we anticipated." It was revealed that BT Sport "initially put more money on the table than Sky" but declined to up the three-season offer, leaving Sky to come back with £600M ($792M) over five years. The EFL was "not able to engage both pay TV operators in a competitive auction," despite the England & Wales Cricket Board managing to do that with its TV rights tender three months earlier (DAILY MAIL, 9/12).

Formula 1 agreed to a multi-year media deal with French broadcaster TF1 for the rights to broadcast several grands prix and full highlights throughout the season from next year. The agreement will start at the beginning of the '18 season and TF1 will show four F1 races in exclusivity on free-to-air TV. The French GP is making a return to the F1 calendar next year and will be covered live as part of the arrangement, as well as the F1 Monaco GP. Two additional races that have yet to be confirmed will also be part of the deal. F1 coverage will be shown across TF1 Group's portfolio of channels and programs (F1).

Four betting firms "could face fines over adverts disguised as news articles" that "targeted vulnerable people" with claims about a gambler who cleared his debts and paid for his wife's medical treatment by playing online casino games. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints against Ladbrokes, 888, SkyBet and Casumo over adverts placed by "affiliates," which are agencies paid to direct gamblers to online casinos and bookmakers (London GUARDIAN, 9/13).

ESPN Int'l signed an exclusive agreement to broadcast the Laver Cup men's tennis competition. The three-year agreement begins with the inaugural event from Sept. 22-24 in Prague and will run through '19. ESPN's multimedia platforms will provide exclusive coverage in Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean (ESPN).

BeIN Sports France selected digital content creation platform provider Wildmoka to power its in-game mobile service, "beIN Ligue1 Conforama." With Wildmoka, beIN Sports will be able to clip and publish key moments from live football matches and provide its subscribers with personalized updates (beIN Sports).

Polish public broadcaster TVP signed a video distribution agreement with national news agency PAP. TVP also secured the rights to the Champions League for this season from DTH platform nc+ on a sub-licensed basis (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 9/13).

The Int'l Tennis Federation, in partnership with sports data provider Sportradar, announced its new live streaming platform for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup. Sportradar will use its OTT solution to produce and deliver live, on-demand Davis Cup streams. The ITF has also been working with Sportradar to launch a desktop live scoring center and redesigned dedicated mobile app for the Davis Cup (ITF).