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Volume 7 No. 149

Media

The EPL is "close to launching a Netflix-style service for live football that would sidestep traditional broadcasters," according to Ben Woods of the SUNDAY TIMES. The streaming service "was due to be tested in Singapore." However, the league "pulled back from the project late last year" and instead sold three seasons of TV rights to Singaporean telecom Singtel. The prospect of an EPL streaming platform "would strike fear into the hearts of pay-TV broadcasters such as Sky," which uses English football’s top tier to attract subscribers. The EPL "has been hunting for ways to boost its finances since its income from domestic TV rights dropped at the last auction" (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/10). In London, James Warrington reported last week, former EPL side Crystal Palace Chair Simon Jordan said that a streaming service similar to the NFL’s model "could increase broadcast revenues" to roughly £10B ($12.9B) per season. Jordan: "In my view, the Premier League has the opportunity to become a broadcaster in its own right and dwarf the revenues it currently gets" (CITY A.M., 2/10).

José Mourinho "landed a new job after signing a mega-money deal to return to work for controversial Russian broadcaster RT," according to Jordan Seward of the London DAILY MAIL. He will get "his own biweekly show -- titled 'On the Touchline with José Mourinho' -- which will focus on covering the Champions League." The inaugural episode will be shown after the round of 16 round matches on March 7. Mourinho worked with RT during the 2018 World Cup and earned £1.71M for just four days' work as a TV pundit. RT confirmed its hiring of Mourinho, who was in Russia discussing terms for his new show last week, by "posting a promotional video on social media on Monday morning." Mourinho, "after initially teasing he could be changing sports to ice hockey," said in the promo, "I'm going to talk about football on RT, what else did you think I was going to do?" RT’s reputation among Western audiences "has long been controversial, with the broadcaster accused of being part of the Kremlin propaganda machine." Despite mainstream politicians and pundits appearing on its channels in Britain, the U.S., and beyond, "a number of academics" have claimed its coverage distorted information on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mourinho "has built up an onscreen portfolio" since being dismissed by ManU, working as an analyst for beIN Sports, "helping drive their coverage of the Premier League and Asian Cup in Qatar last month," where he "reportedly bagged" £60,000 ($77,100) for his handful of appearances on the program (DAILY MAIL, 2/11).

La Liga recently closed three IPTV platforms in Brazil. The trio of websites that commercialized these illegal services -- www.listaiptvbrasil.com.br, www.melhorlistaiptv.com.br and www.listaiptvbrasilhd.br -- attracted over 1.5 million visits a month and had over 8,000 illegal subscribers. In collaboration with LtaHub, La Liga's partner legal office in Brazil, the Spanish league contacted the offenders and ordered that they permanently remove the La Liga-owned audiovisual content, cease all illegal activity, hand over all devices involved in their operations and transfer the domain names. In addition, the offenders made a commitment not to carry out any further infringements and collaborate in the efforts to identity any related illegal platforms. La Liga Audiovisual Department Dir Melcior Solar said, "Audiovisual piracy is a crime, it endangers the future of the game, the league and the sport as a whole" (La Liga).

Optus inked a deal with Twitter and YouTube that will allow Australians to watch the Champions League online. The arrangement will see Optus transmit a total of 10 matches from February-April on the Optus Sport channels through the social media platforms. This will include six live Europa League matches on Twitter and four live Champions League matches on YouTube (AD NEWS, 2/11).

DAZN is reportedly in talks with Movistar to acquire Spanish rights to La Liga and the Champions League. The platform is reportedly in talks with Movistar to "ask for the price for the network’s star channels: Movistar Partidazo and Movistar Liga de Campeones." Movistar "cannot refuse to sell" due to regulations imposed by Spain's National Commission of Markets & Competition (CNMC) (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 2/10).

Sky Sports and Dorna WorldSBK Organization agreed to a three-year contract, assuring that every round of WorldSBK, WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 will be broadcast on Sky Sport MotoGP (WorldSBK). 

Blizzard Entertainment will make the Overwatch League available in Portuguese this year, marking the competition’s first local broadcast aimed at the Latin American market. The Portuguese coverage will be made available on Twitch, which has exclusive streaming rights to the league in all regions other than mainland China (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 2/8).

STATSports signed a deal to provide the Socceroos with GPS performance monitoring technology. STATSports' APEX system tracks each athlete during practice sessions and games and provides direct feedback to coaching staff and players (STATSports).