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Volume 7 No. 149

Media

Live Formula 1 grand prix coverage in Britain is "prepared to disappear behind a paywall," according to Richard Williams of the London GUARDIAN. For viewers in the country where 70% of the cars on the grid are built, the only exception next year will be the British Grand Prix, the "crumb of comfort" for Channel 4 to go along with a one-year deal for a highlights program. Given that the owners of Silverstone "recently triggered the exit clause" from their contract with Formula 1, the '19 race "could even be" the last round of the world championship to be held in Britain. And "that would mean no live free-to-air grand prix racing on British television at all." The deal to grant Sky exclusive rights for a fee of around £1.2B ($1.5B) over five years was made by former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. So F1 "finds itself in the position" of test cricket, the Ryder Cup, the Premier League, World Cup skiing and England's home rugby matches -- "available in Britain only to those with a subscription." For those with access to Sky, the satellite channel "will no doubt continue to bring unprecedented resources to bear on the sport." Liberty Media is "inheriting the probability of a further drop in audience ratings" following a "sharp downward trend" that began when Sky entered the picture and the free-to-air window started to close. Liberty Media's strategy "varies from country to country" -- in Germany, for instance, pay-TV has been abandoned in favor of a "lucrative arrangement" with a terrestrial network -- but its long-term plan "appears to be" the provision of coverage via its own streaming service (GUARDIAN, 11/26).

EuroLeague Basketball awarded streaming service DAZN exclusive broadcasting rights for the league in Spain. DAZN will be the home to the EuroLeague from the '19-20 season through the '22-23 season. DAZN was also awarded the rights to broadcast live matches and clips for the next four seasons of the EuroCup. EuroLeague President & CEO Jordi Bertomeu said, "DAZN's revolutionary platform matches the innovation DNA of EuroLeague Basketball, bringing the digital reach of our competitions to new heights and allowing us to grow our Spanish audience." This deal follows DAZN’s announcement earlier this month that it will launch in Spain in '19, offering access to MotoGP and the English Premier League (EuroLeague). In Madrid, Robert Álvarez reported Movistar currently holds the Spanish rights to the EuroLeague (EL PAÍS, 11/27). PALCO23's M.M.A. reported DAZN "is once again demonstrating it has the intention of being a relevant player in Spain." The economic terms of DAZN's deal with the EuroLeague were not revealed, but Movistar owner Telefónica paid more than €10M ($11.3M) for the Spanish EuroLeague rights for the '18-19 season. The deal with DAZN means broadcasts on the league's platform, EuroLeague TV, will no longer be available in Spain (PALCO23, 11/27).

MAKING IT OFFICIAL: MARCA reported the EuroLeague made it official that starting next season, there will be 18 teams in the competition, up from the current 16. One will be French club Asvel, which is owned by French NBA Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker. Asvel will become "the first French club to participate in the EuroLeague under the new competition format." The other addition will be Bayern Munich, which previously "had to win its national league or the EuroCup to secure its participation in the EuroLeague" (MARCA, 11/27).

Discovery signed a long-term exclusive partnership with Tiger Woods that will provide behind-the-scenes access via GolfTV, the global streaming service developed by Discovery and the PGA Tour that will launch in January. The videos will be not available in the U.S., at least not initially. “We still are figuring out how we employ it in the U.S.,” Discovery President & CEO David Zaslav said. In negotiations with Woods, Zaslav said that the golfer has completely bought into the idea -- sold, in part, by Discovery’s portfolio that includes Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel and Food Network.

“One thing that we’ve figured out is that personalities are more powerful than brands,” Zaslav said. “We're a global IP company, and the epitome of great IP is content that people love -- that’s why we bought Food and HGTV.” Zaslav said he settled on Woods because of the golfer’s worldwide popularity, adding that more than 50% of the PGA Tour’s golfers are international. “Go around the world and see,” Zaslav said. “He’s a transformational figure.”

Zaslav described the content as something that can help draw younger fans to the sport. It will include access to Woods before and after he plays PGA Tour rounds. It also will include weekly practice and instructional videos and video of Woods’ preparation routines. “If Tiger’s not happy with how he’s putting during the round and goes to practice it for an hour afterwards, we’ll be there,” Zaslav said. “He sees this as a way to have a voice and a real impact on the sport."

The NBA and tech company ByteDance announced a multi-year partnership to deliver customized, short-formed mobile content to ByteDance's users. The company will leverage its artificial intelligence technology to deliver NBA content to fans in China through its Douyin, Toutiao and Xigua Video platforms. The content will include daily NBA game highlights, behind-the-scenes videos, photos and news throughout the regular season, All-Star Game, playoffs and NBA Finals. NBA content will be available globally through TikTok (NBA). 

Sky Sports and the BBC were confirmed as the U.K. broadcast partners for the Netball World Cup 2019. Sky Sports will be the host broadcaster for the 10-day tournament and will show every game live across Sky Sports platforms. The BBC will also show every game free-to-air across its TV and digital channels from day four (Netball World Cup). 

McLaren partnered with mobile phone manufacturer OnePlus and "teased a further announcement for December." The announcement from the two brands does not go into detail about "exactly what to expect from the partnership," but the most likely outcome is a McLaren-branded OnePlus device (TECH RADAR, 11/27).

Discovery-owned free-to-air TV channel Quest will show the '18-19 Formula E Championship. Quest will broadcast up to four races from the forthcoming season live as well as a full highlights package of every single race during the '18-19 edition on its linear channel and on demand via QuestOD.co.uk or the QuestOD app. The four races to be screened live on Quest will be announced at a future date (Quest). 

Ginx Esports TV will launch on Turkcell’s TV brand name "TV+" on Wednesday. TV+ is the "market leader" OTT tv and IPTV platform in Turkey (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 11/27).