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Volume 6 No. 212


Premier League matches will be shown in primetime on Saturday nights after club chairs "agreed to include the new slot in the next broadcasting deal," according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. A meeting of the top-flight clubs in London on Thursday "gave the go-ahead for the move, which means matches will go head-to-head with popular shows" such as "Strictly Come Dancing" and "The X Factor" as part of an increase in the number of live games. The league previously revealed plans for 7:45pm kickoffs on Saturdays, with the number of live TV games increasing from 168 to a maximum of 210. The new deal "comes into force" at the start of the '19-20 season. At the meeting, the clubs mandated Premier League execs to decide "whether to take packages of 190, 200 or 210 matches to market" when the tender for domestic rights from '19-22 is issued before the end of this year (LONDON TIMES, 11/17). The BBC's Richard Conway reported the Football Supporters' Federation said that it was "firmly opposed" to any increase beyond 190 live games -- half the Premier League's total fixtures. A statement read, "Any additional broadcast games would mean even more changes to kick-off times away from 3pm on Saturdays, with an impact of both uncertainty and inconvenience to the match-going fans, especially away fans, whose passion is a huge component of the 'product' that broadcasters want to buy and sell" (BBC, 11/17). The London INDEPENDENT reported Saturday night games will "compete directly with two of Britain's most-watched" TV shows. The BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" typically attracts around 10 million viewers, while "The X Factor" on ITV brings in around 4-5 million. No Premier League game shown on a subscription channel "would ever get close to those figures" but it is a "bold move to try and compete, albeit a necessary one as Premier League clubs look to bring in football's biggest-ever broadcast deal" (INDEPENDENT, 11/17).

Russian state TV said on Friday that it "would not broadcast the Winter Olympics from South Korea next year if the Russian team is banned from the games over doping," according to the AFP. The IOC exec board is "due to meet next month" to consider whether Russia can compete in PyeongChang in February. The press service of the All-Russia State TV & Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) said, "If our team is barred from participating in the Winter Olympics, our channels will not show the Games." The Kremlin said that it could "understand" the decision of the state media group. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, "Broadcasting the Olympic Games requires the acquisition of rights that are very expensive. These sums are clearly spent in the hope of great interest from Russian viewers. If our team is not participating in the Olympics, then the interest of Russian viewers in these programs will be reduced. But it is still too soon to talk about that." Three Russian channels were originally set to broadcast the Games: VGTRK's Rossiya 1, the state-controlled Channel One and sports network Match TV, which is indirectly owned by gas firm Gazprom. Channel One will reportedly "also boycott" the Games if the national team is banned. Match TV said that its agreements to screen the Games "were still in force" (AFP, 11/18).

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) signed a new TV rights deal with Globo worth $2.5M per match for the Brazilian national team until '22. In the past, the CBF received $2M per match for its national team. Globo "will have the rights across TV and digital platforms to broadcast 40 matches," including friendlies and World Cup qualifiers, until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/17).

FIBA signed a five-year agreement with livestreaming sports service DAZN to air games in Canada from '17-21. DAZN will broadcast every Canada game from FIBA's national team competitions, including the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 (FIBA). 

Premiership Rugby broke new ground when it broadcast its first live match in Sweden. The agreement between the league and Swedish pay-TV provider C More Entertainment AB ensures the Premiership is shown live in Sweden. C More will air at least one fixture per weekend -- live with Swedish commentary on Sportkanalen -- for the remainder of the '17-18 season, including the semifinals and final (Premiership Rugby). 

Eleven Sports announced a partnership with Formosa Dreamers to show all of the club's fixtures in the ASEAN Basketball League. The season started on Saturday. Eleven Sports also secured live and exclusive action from the ASEAN Basketball League playoffs in Taiwan (Eleven).