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Volume 7 No. 149

Media

Every Australian Football League Women's game will be broadcast live, with all finals televised on free-to-air and Foxtel, under the league's new broadcast deal, according to Niall & Sakkal of THE AGE. Under the four-year deal, Fox Footy/Foxtel will televise all games, with Channel Seven broadcasting two home-and-away matches per round, "likely to be on Saturdays and Sundays" in '19. Industry sources believe the deal is worth close to A$2.5M ($1.8M) a season. Foxtel and Seven have paid "a modest fee for the rights," which runs through '22, when the AFL broadcast deal for the men's competition (with the same parties) also expires. From '20, Seven will broadcast three home-and-away games per round. All games will be streamable live on Seven and Foxtel's digital platforms, as well as the AFLW Live app. Under the deal, telecast costs "will be covered by broadcasters" (THE AGE, 12/13). The AAP reported AFL Head of Women's Football Nicole Livingstone said that the broadcast agreement was "significant" for AFLW and women's sport in general. She said, "The anticipation around season three of the AFLW continues to build. ... Our supporters, players clubs and the broader community will continue to embrace the growth of women's football and we are thrilled that every AFLW match will be broadcast live on television for at least the next four years" (AAP, 12/13).

BT Sport and Sky "will consider renewed bids for the British rights" for La Liga and Serie A if, "as now seems likely, they are put back up for sale," according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. The rights were won by Eleven Sports, which is owned by League Championship Leeds United Chair Andrea Radrizzani, during the summer "but it has struggled to attract enough subscribers." Significantly, "it failed to secure carriage deals with Sky, BT or Virgin to carry the matches on their platforms." Eleven Sports outbid Sky for the La Liga rights, and BT Sport for Serie A, "but now owes millions of pounds in rights fees and is looking to restructure the deals." It is negotiating directly with La Liga, and with IMG, which arranged its broadcast deals with Serie A, the Eredivisie in Holland, plus the Swedish and Chinese leagues that it "wants to renegotiate." Eleven Sports "wants to keep online streaming rights," which would cost it "significantly less," but allow the leagues to sell the linear TV rights to other broadcasters. That "may be problematic as both BT and Sky would want to be able to show matches on their digital platforms" if they are to spend money on TV rights. Both broadcasters are, however, "understood to be interested in going back into the market if the deal is right" (LONDON TIMES, 12/13). The BBC reported meanwhile, UFC "pulled out of a deal with Eleven Sports, which was supposed to start in January, after the latter did not agree a contract to redistribute its events." It is understood Eleven Sports "is not in financial difficulties" and the problems in the U.K. "are in isolation rather than impacting on other markets in which it operates" (BBC, 12/13).

Gambling execs said that they are "responding to public concerns" after confirming plans to effectively ban TV betting adverts during pre-watershed live sports, according to the BBC. The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling confirmed the ban, which will begin in '19. It follows "political pressure" about the amount of betting advertising on TV. No betting adverts will be shown during live sports coverage before 9pm in the U.K. from five minutes before the event begins until five minutes after it finishes. Horse racing and greyhound racing are exempt from the restrictions. The ban will include events that begin before the watershed but end after it. The Remote Gambling Association, made up of Britain's biggest betting companies including Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power, voluntarily agreed to the ban. That proposal needed final ratification from the IGRG (BBC, 12/13). In London, Davies & Sweney reported the voluntary curbs do not include shirt sponsorship on ads that run around hoardings in stadiums, "which means gambling firms will still appear prominently during live sport" (GUARDIAN, 12/13).

Discovery and the European Tour announced a new partnership that will see GOLFTV continue to expand its portfolio and move toward becoming the established "digital home of golf" for fans around the world. The agreement includes live int'l multi-platform rights, in selected territories, to all European Tour events and the next two Ryder Cups, as well as Discovery collaborating to grow the European Tour's digital platforms. The partnership will bring coverage of the European Tour and Ryder Cup together under GOLFTV (Discovery). 

Wimbledon will continue to be broadcast by Sky Deutschland. The German pay-TV operator and the All England Lawn Tennis Club agreed on an extension of their partnership until '22. Sky will continue to cover the Grand Slam tournament in Germany, Austria and Switzerland live over the next four years -- in Germany and Austria exclusively (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 12/13).

Poland's Ekstraklasa signed a two year-agreement with Canal+ and public broadcaster TVP. Covering the '19-20 and '20-21 seasons, thanks to what it calls an "innovative construction of media packages," the agreement includes all 296 games per season carried on DTH platform nc+. TVP will show 37 games per season (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 12/13).

7Sports, a sports business subsidiary of ProSiebenSat.1, announced a new joint venture with community platform eSports.com. While continuing to broadcast live esports competitions and highlights on ProSieben Maxx, 7Sports will use eSports.com to distribute its digital content for the German, Swiss and Austrian market (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 12/13). 
For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.