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Volume 7 No. 149

Media

Derby County and Aston Villa are among the clubs threatening a breakaway from the EFL.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Fifteen League Championship clubs are "threatening a breakaway" from the English Football League over their "objections to a planned new TV deal with Sky," according to Ridley & Barclay of THE SUN. The sides, which include Derby County, Aston Villa and Leeds United, are "unhappy about the details of a new deal, believing they should be getting more." They also have "concerns about their matches appearing on red button and the internet." The five-year deal, due to take effect next season and increasing from £90M ($115.6M) a year to £119M ($152.9M), was negotiated last season. It "was due to be rubber-stamped at the end of last month" and has the backing of League One and League Two clubs. When the Championship clubs refused to sign, however, the EFL called a "special meeting for the full 24." After that, last Tuesday, the 15 biggest clubs "decided to threaten a breakaway if they did not get a better deal." The EFL has now given the Championship clubs until 4pm on Nov. 19 to reconsider their position. Under the new deal, the Championship clubs would receive £2.95M ($3.79M) each and a share of the appearance fees pot of £17.7M ($22.7M). Some Championship clubs are believed to think that they should be receiving at least double what is on offer, though the EFL does not "believe those sums are out there in a wider TV market." Another "sticking point" appears to be a dispute over appearances on the red button and internet. Many clubs believed that there would be just one match shown as an alternative on the platform on live midweek nights but "plans to show several could affect gates, they believe." One EFL club chair said, "I am not completely sure what the agenda of these 15 clubs is but their bullying tactics beggars belief" (THE SUN, 11/11).

The Scottish FA announced satellite broadcaster Premier Sports will broadcast Scottish Cup games along with BBC Scotland from next season, according to Matthew Lindsay of the HERALD SCOTLAND. BBC Scotland and Premier Sports will each broadcast a selection of fixtures in the competition -- in a move the SFA claims will put "more Scottish Cup matches on free-to-air television than ever before." BBC Scotland will also showcase one live match in the first, second and third rounds. Meanwhile, supporters will be able to watch four live games in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. Premier Sports will broadcast one semifinal exclusively while the other semifinal and the final will be shown across both channels. SFA CEO Ian Maxwell said, "It will also drive significant revenue back to all the clubs who participate in the competition, ensuring ongoing investment into the game" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/12). In Glasgow, Patrick McPartlin reported running through the '23-24 season, and covering the 150th anniversary of the competition, the deal increases BBC Scotland's coverage. The new deal "will provide a boost" for some of Scotland's smaller clubs, with 16 Highland League and 14 Lowland League clubs entering in the first round and Scottish League Two clubs joining in the second round (SCOTSMAN, 11/12).

GLOBAL COVERAGE: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported the Scottish Cup will be "beamed around the world" after the SFA signed a six-year deal with IMG. Viewers around the globe will be able to watch Scottish Cup games after the SFA agreed to a contract with IMG to market broadcast rights. The deal will extend IMG's relationship with the SFA to more than 20 years and includes live coverage from every round as well as gaming, archive and digital clips rights. It will run through the end of the '23-24 season (DAILY RECORD, 11/12).

THREE SUBS: In Glasgow, Mark McDougall reported with the news the SFA has sold the rights to the Scottish Cup to Premier Sports, "it means you need three subscriptions to TV channels" as well as the TV license fee for games on BBC to follow all competitions. To watch the Scottish Premiership, you need Sky Sports and BT Sport. To follow the Scottish League Cup, you need BT Sport, and to see Scottish Cup matches, you now must subscribe to Premier Sports as well as pay a license for the BBC. All of those subscriptions come in at £870.26 ($1,120) a year (DAILY RECORD, 11/12).

Bruce McAvaney is a staple of Channel 7's coverage.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Australia's Channel 10 is reportedly "going to great lengths" to ensure TV pundit Bruce McAvaney does not "draw any eyeballs away from its Melbourne Cup coverage" in '19 and beyond, according to NEWS.com.au. McAvaney, a staple of Channel 7’s racing coverage and "long-time host of the race that stops the nation, waved goodbye to the Cup after this year’s broadcast." Channel 10 secured the TV rights to the race for five years, starting next year, and "it wants to make sure nobody goes searching elsewhere to get their McAvaney fix on the first Tuesday of November." While Seven "released its grip" on the Melbourne Cup, Racing.com will share the rights with Channel 10 next year. Racing.com is a partnership between Channel 7 and Racing Victoria and McAvaney headed the channel’s coverage of the Adelaide Cup this year. The 65-year-old indicated he is "keen to continue his involvement in the South Australian capital" but Ten is reportedly "determined" to make sure his influence does not shift into Melbourne during Cup carnival time. According to 3AW and decidertv.com, to make sure people tune into Channel 10, the network has reportedly "included a legal clause in its agreement with Racing.com that prevents McAvaney, and fellow presenter Hamish McLachlan, from hosting the channel’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup." According to the report, the "drastic move" is a way of safeguarding its A$100M ($72M), five-year investment in the race meeting, which lasts four days every year (NEWS.com.au, 11/11).

Cricket Ireland signed its first multi-year media rights deal, which will allow its four-year program of int'l men's cricket to be shown around the world. The deal, signed with Total Sports Marketing, covers men's home fixtures in the current Int'l Cricket Council Future Tours Program from '19-22 and will ensure coverage of Irish men's int'l cricket in many of the world's key cricket markets (Cricket Ireland). 

Motorvision TV signed new distribution deals in 14 different countries. The motorsport channel signed agreements in the Nordics, Benelux, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Gibraltar and the Balkans. Among the platforms now distributing the channel are Telenor's Canal Digital, which is including Motorvision in the Family package in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. It was also added to the TV Flex and TV Stor packages on Telenor Sweden's CATV/IPTV network (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 11/12).

Pan-European Martial Arts Broadcasting Network and German fighting sports platform fight24.tv forged a strategic program alliance. Fight24.tv will be MABN’s preferred content provider and grant access to "one of the biggest archives in fighting," according to Malta-based MABN Ltd. New fighting events will be added weekly to the channel (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 11/12).

ITN Productions renewed its partnership with the Int'l Cricket Council to provide digital clip production services for the ICC World Twenty20 2018 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The deal follows ITN Productions' integration for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and ICC Women's World Cup 2017. ITN Productions will work with the ICC and its suppliers and licensees to deliver content (ITN Productions). 

IMG announced the debut of IMG Arena, an evolution of its global sports betting business. Based in London, IMG Arena specializes in bringing sport and the sports betting industry closer together. IMG Arena works with more than 250 sportsbook operators worldwide, providing 24/7 live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products designed to evolve and inspire engagement (IMG). 

Sky added more rights to its collection of packages for the Premier League. From the '19-20 season, Sky added in-game goals and clips for mobile devices from Sky Sports' live matches and all other games not televised live plus extended highlights and on-demand through Game of the Day and Match Choice (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 11/12).