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Volume 6 No. 232


Disney's deal with 21st Century Fox gives the world's best-known entertainment company "new advantages in India," such as cricket rights and local-language TV shows for the "fast-growing media market," according to Toonkel & Richwine of REUTERS. Through the $52.4B deal, announced on Thursday, Disney would be able to distribute its programming on Star India, the operator of 69 TV channels in eight languages, "as well as the popular Hotstar streaming service." Disney also would "gain global rights to professional cricket." MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson said, "It is an amazing opportunity to get into the best developing market in the world. But it is highly competitive." Global expansion is important to Disney because its largest U.S. network, ESPN, has been "losing subscribers as audiences migrate from traditional television to digital viewing." Star India is also "flush with cash." Fox projects it will earn $500M before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in fiscal '18, rising to $1B in '20. Macquarie Research analyst Tim Nollen said, "Star India alone is by far the most successful TV network in the fastest-growing country." For Disney, owning Star India could "give it an edge over competing content providers in the world’s second-most populous country." In a research note, Barclays analysts said that "new entrants like Netflix will need a lot of time to recreate" a service like Hotstar because of its sports rights and head start in producing programming in multiple Indian languages. Eros Int'l CEO/North America Prem Parameswaran said that global sports rights, particularly cricket, which Fox recently won, "should add to Disney's bottom line." He said, "In India there is religion, there is cricket and there is Bollywood" (REUTERS, 12/13).

Bundesliga side Schalke "wants its traditional fans to embrace" the team's League of Legends squad as well, "and, for that reason, will present the players in front of Schalke’s audience in the Veltins Arena," according to Angelos Anastasopoulos of THE ESPORTS OBSERVER. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, prior to the DFB Pokal (German Cup) game versus Cologne. Before that, "the players will go through a week-long bootcamp," which started Wednesday. The LoL players "will also attend the home game against Augsburg." During the bootcamp, they will "practice, discuss, and develop strategies, train, and try to bond." After Christmas vacation, "the crew will move to Berlin to start preparing" for the European LoL Championship Series Spring split. Schalke has "passionate fans," but presenting an esports team in front of a football crowd "is an unprecedented marketing campaign." So far, "the reactions on social media have been mixed" (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 12/13).

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When it launched last November, Dugout "turned heads," with "high-profile clubs" such as Man City, Liverpool, Paris St. Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan among its initial investors, according to Thomas Hobbs of MARKETING WEEK. The idea behind Dugout "is to bring fans access to the world of football beyond the matches." Its founder clubs "are also shareholders in the business," with Dugout having an in-house production team that works directly at places such as the Camp Nou and Etihad Stadium to "produce a regular stream of original content." Dugout President Matthew Baxter said that the platform "has gained 69.2 million users since launch and achieved 151.5 million page views." He believes the brand "is finally starting to take off." He said, "Obviously we don't have the rights to show the matches, but it isn't our aim to challenge Sky Sports or Jeff Stelling. Dugout is for everything outside of a match, it's a behind-the-scenes look at players in their houses, at the training grounds, talking nutrition." Dugout "has already worked with brands such as Hilton Hotels on a web page takeover" and video series called "City Files," where players from clubs such as PSG and Barcelona talk viewers "through the best places to visit in their respective cities." It "also makes money through offering extensive programmatic advertising" -- it owns its own "programmatic stack" -- and direct sales. Baxter said that people "support, on average, 4.6 football clubs" and he believes Dugout can stand out among advertisers as it "provides a distraction-less experience for football fans looking to interact with multiple clubs." It is "fair to say" that Dugout's women's football content does not "quite match the level of the men's." Baxter admitted the company is "talking to more women's leagues -- there are currently only two women's teams on the platform." He claims women's football will be "front and center" of the growth agenda in '18 (MARKETING WEEK, 12/14).

The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF), which recently qualified for the upcoming World Cup after a 36-year absence, is experiencing unprecedented commercial interest from Peru and internationally. In turn, the FPF hired Octagon's global media rights consulting group to maximize the value of the organization's commercial media rights for the national team and development team from '18-22. Octagon will advise the FPF on media rights valuation, distribution strategy and the sales process to potential media partners across broadcast, digital, social, radio, data and new media (Octagon).

New data from Juniper Research found that SVOD services will drive a surge in OTT revenues to reach $120B in '22, up from $64B in '17. The research "also found that over a quarter of global households" will subscribe to SVOD services by '22. The new research, Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2017-2022, found that expenditure by OTTs on original content was increasing. Juniper estimated that Netflix will spend over $6B during '17-18, in contrast to the publicly-funded BBC, which is investing a "comparatively small sum" of $1.4B (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 12/13).

The Paris St. Germain vs. Strasbourg Ligue 1 match, which PSG won 4-2, was watched by an average audience of 2.2 million viewers on France 3. The match numbers translated to a 9.6% market share (L’ÉQUIPE, 12/14).