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Volume 7 No. 149


Europe's most famous footballing families are supporting a new TV advert by UEFA which calls on football fan dads to encourage their daughters to play the sport. Kenny Dalglish, a three-time European Cup-winner with Liverpool, and his sports broadcast presenter daughter, Kelly Cates, spearhead the squad assembled as part of UEFA's Together #WePlayStrong campaign to promote women's football. They are joined by the Baresi family in Italy, with Inter Milan assistant manager Giuseppe Baresi throwing his support behind the campaign alongside his daughter, Regina, who captains Inter's women's team. Former England striker Alan Shearer is another famous footballing dad -- he has two daughters, Hollie and Chloe, and a son, Will -- who is rallying behind the cause to encourage fathers to be more proactive in seeing football as an equal opportunity for daughters and sons. Dalglish, Scotland's most-capped player with 102 caps, said, "Football is in the blood and it has been a fabric of our lives as a family. Together, we have celebrated success and shared tragedy and throughout those experiences we have realized that football has a unique ability to unite families, clubs and communities" (UEFA).

The "protracted battle over ownership of Sky will be all but settled" over 24 hours this weekend in a "rare" auction in which three global media companies "will go three rounds," according to Christopher Williams of the London TELEGRAPH. Comcast "will take on the tag team" of 21st Century Fox and Disney, with investors expecting the winning side to value Sky at "at least" £27B ($35.8B). The Takeover Panel, the city’s regulator of merger processes, will "act as referee" between the Murdoch family, which controls Fox and will line up alongside Disney Chair Bob Iger, and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. There will be three rounds of bidding. In the first round, "only the contender with the lowest offer going into the auction, currently Disney and Fox, will be able to bid." Comcast offered £14.75 ($19.55) per share for Sky, ahead of Disney and Fox's £14 ($18.56) per-share offer. In the second round, Comcast will be able to respond. If the U.S. cable firm, which also owns Universal, "does not bid then the auction will conclude with Disney and Fox the winner." However, if Comcast does "hit back" with a better offer, "then there will be a final round in which both sides will be able to make their best and final offers" (TELEGRAPH, 9/20).

The Labour Party announced it will put a stop to gambling ads during live sport "if it gets into government, with an exception for horseracing." The move was publicized by deputy leader Tom Watson ahead of the party’s conference, which starts next week and "follows a year-long review" by Watson and Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth. Several submissions to the review "called for a ban or reduction in live sports advertising," with work for gambling brands accounting for 17% of all ads on TV during the recent World Cup, according to Labour (CAMPAIGN LIVE, 9/20).

Fox Sports Latin America launched Fox Sports Premium and a new Fox Sports streaming package in Mexico and Central America. Fox Sports Premium is a new a-la-carte channel that will be added to the group's portfolio in January. The channel will offer live national and int'l sporting events. It will be available on the TV Everywhere offer for pay-TV subscribers through the Fox Sports App and Fox App in the sports package with Fox Sports, Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3 (NEXTV NEWS, 9/19).

The Rugby World Cup 2019 will get "unparalled" TV coverage in Japan, with all 48 games shown on J Sports and 31 games shown live on free-to-air channels. RWC 2019 Tournament Dir Alan Gilpin said, "The tournament here will have unprecedented free-to-air coverage for rugby and it's an opportunity to use rugby's biggest event to reach the widest possible audience" (KYODO, 9/20).

Foxtel will create Australian TV history at the Bathurst 1000, making it the first event in the country to be televised in 4K technology. Foxtel will air the Great Race to subscribers with the Sports HD pack on Foxtel's dedicated 4K channel. For the first time, viewers will also see the race broadcast free of ad breaks on the 4K and standard Fox Sports channel (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/20).

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland will have a dedicated TV channel for the Ryder Cup. From Tuesday-Oct. 1, Sky Sport Ryder Cup HD will broadcast the entire competition live and exclusively. There will also be highlights from previous years and other features (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 9/20).

Altice France's SFR subsidiary issued a statement apologizing for a fault on the RMC Sport app on Tuesday, which resulted in "poor customer service." The issue affected online viewers watching two French football clubs making their debut in the Champions League group stage, for which RMC Sports has exclusive content rights. Customers impacted by the fault will receive a refund for one month of their subscription (TELECOM PAPER, 9/19).

Ten Irish Premiership matches will be broadcast live on BBC NI TV on Friday nights this season. Three Irish Cup games, including the final, will also be shown as part of a three-year deal announced on Thursday. The first game will be the north Belfast derby at Seaview on Oct. 5 between league champion Crusaders and north Belfast's Cliftonville (BBC, 9/20).