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Volume 6 No. 197


Film 45, the production company run by "Friday Night Lights" Dir Peter Berg, "teamed up" with Spanish producer Mediapro and IMG to produce Amazon’s documentary series about Man City, according to Peter White of DEADLINE. The project, which is reported to have a budget of around £10M ($13M), was unveiled by the streaming service last week. However, the company "did not reveal the production team behind the fly-on-the-wall series." Deadline confirmed the trio of production companies behind the project. The producers will work in association with Amazon Studios. It is the latest Amazon sports documentary for Berg’s Film 45, following tennis doc Novak with Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. The company is also behind non-scripted series including Netflix’s The Keepers and QB1: Behind The Lights, which airs on Verizon’s go90 via Complex Networks’ Rated Red (DEADLINE, 11/14).

CAUSING PROBLEMS: In London, Charles Sale reported the documentary series is "causing major ructions" in the Premier League. The opposition is led by Sky Sports, which has "given the go-ahead to the controversial Amazon project" having a camera presence on matchdays but is "far from happy about it." Sky is "very annoyed" that Man City signed such a deal for widespread access behind the scenes at the Etihad Stadium when the broadcaster is paying billions for live match coverage "which is subject to numerous filming restrictions." There is "also bewilderment" that the Premier League let Amazon "in so near" the start of the next TV rights tender. Sky and BT Sport, which is also "unimpressed," will be expected to bankroll the league for another three years (DAILY MAIL, 11/13).

The Ireland women's rugby team must play its home Six Nations matches on Sunday in Donnybrook despite RTÉ offering primetime slots on Friday or Saturday night, according to Gavin Cummiskey of the IRISH TIMES. The Irish Rugby Football Union rejected Friday doubleheaders alongside the men's U20s against Italy, Wales and Scotland, "despite the success -- and full capacity -- at the Dublin 4 venue when England came to Dublin in March." The IRFU's reasoning is that amateur women players "struggle to get time off work for Friday games." RTÉ Head of Sport Ryle Nugent said, "We requested that home games are played as doubleheaders on Friday nights with the under-20s but that option was declined. Our second option was to broadcast the games live on Saturday nights in primetime and that was also declined." The IRFU insisted on early Sunday kickoffs over primetime Saturday evening matches, which would have followed the men's home matches as they all kick off this season at 2:15pm. An IRFU spokesperson said, "The reason is to allow time for team preparation and minimize disruption to players' work and study schedules" (IRISH TIMES, 11/14).

The Int'l Hockey Federation (FIH) announced a commercial partnership with Google-owned YouTube to provide broadcast coverage of the upcoming Hockey World League Finals. Fans in countries without broadcast agreements will be able to access matches via a pay-per-view YouTube system. YouTube will work as a primary distribution platform in participating nations’ markets where digital consumption has proven to be the primary method for consuming sport, and as a secondary platform giving fans access to matches not being shown by their local broadcaster (FIH). 

Swiss cable operator UPC integrated OTT service Sky Sport as an app on its Horizon box. Customers can receive the service free of charge in the first month, after which the regular price of 19.90 Swiss francs ($20.12) per month applies (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 11/13).

French gambling operator FDJ announced a partnership with Sportradar to open a social esports betting website. The website,, is a branch of the FDJ’s sports betting brand, ParionsSport, "making this the first national lottery-backed esports betting platform." An advertisement for the platform has also been produced as a pre-roll ad for Twitch. ParionsEsports "will make use of Sportradar’s data cultivation, as well as its esports gambling API" (ESPORTS OBSERVER, 11/14).