Aug 102015

Spanish public broadcaster RTVE has reached an agreement to air one La Liga and one Copa del Rey match every week., So there will be some Spanish football available free-to-air (FTA),with the majority of other matches being shown on one of the many pay tv services.

RTVEs deal with La Liga enables RTVE to broadcast two games per week, in “an effort to make football available for the whole audience,” according to the network.
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Jun 292015

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that all TV and multi-platform broadcast rights in Europe for the four Olympic Games in the 2018–2024 period have been awarded to Discovery Communications, the parent company of Eurosport.

It means the BBC could lose coverage of the Games in the UK from 2022, although Eurosport’s parent company Discovery may lease back some of the rights.

The agreement covers the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, as well as the Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024, the host cities of which have yet to be elected.

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Mar 162015

Premiership Rugby rights secured by BT Sport until 2021

BT has renewed its deal to broadcast Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport until the end of the 2020-2021 season.

The four year extension to the current deal is the longest TV rights deal in Premiership Rugby history. As part of the extension, BT Sport will show 80 live matches per season from 2017-18, with extended highlights of all 135 games per season from next season.

Additionally, BT Sport has the live broadcast rights to matches from the entire Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series until the end of the 2020-21 season.

Feb 262015

Sky Sports has won the rights to broadcast exclusively live Major League Soccer (MLS) from the US for the first time.

The four-year MLS deal begins in March, bringing an even wider range of coverage to Sky Sports viewers. With former England captain Steven Gerrard announcing he will sign for LA Galaxy in July, and Frank Lampard set to join New York City this summer..

David Beckham welcomed the news today: “This is another important moment that shows the continued growth of MLS. I have seen first-hand how popular soccer has become in America. Having fantastic partners such as Sky Sports on board will not only add to the coverage of the game, it will also broaden its appeal outside of US.”

Thierry Henry said: “I will never forget my time playing in MLS – it gave me some great memories and I was proud to play a role in growing the game.”

MLS has seen significant growth in recent years – allied with the improving performance of the national team there is a growing profile around the sport in the US and around the world.

MLS was originally launched in 1996 with ten teams, just two years after the FIFA World Cup was hosted in the US. Over the years it has expanded to the current system with 20 teams, and in the future will see further franchises added in New York and Orlando beginning in 2015 and Atlanta and Los Angeles in 2017.

This season, Sky Sports will show more football than ever before, up to 800 live matches. As well as Barclays Premier League, viewers can enjoy live coverage of European qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016, UEFA Champions League, Sky Bet Football League, SPFL, Capital One Cup, La Liga, Eredivisie, Copa del Rey and Coppa Italia, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and Sky Sports Victory Shield.

Feb 072015

The £4billion fight to show live Barclays Premier League football will go into a second round next week.

The bids were tabled for the seven packages — starting in 2016-17 — by a noon deadline on Friday, but there was no immediate verdict from the Premier League, as there was a week earlier for the highlights rights won by BBC.

This is because America’s Discovery Channel and maybe even Qatar-based beIN Sports could join BT Sport and Sky in a fierce battle that will not be concluded until Tuesday or Wednesday.

The PL are expected to ask for revised offers for all packages at the start of next week, which suggests bidding is very close for all sets of rights.

Sky are understood to be putting all their resources into retaining the four prime packages with the most first picks, while BT Sport would be content with increasing their portfolio to 56 games a season.

But the entry of two overseas giants in the domestic market will have the PL looking forward to an even bigger bonanza — pushing the price of one live match to £8million.




Jan 302015

There are encouraging signs for the Premier League that beIN Sport are seriously considering joining the Discovery Channel, BT Sport and Sky in a super heavyweight TV contest for the next three-year contracts when the mega offers are tabled next Friday.

BT Sport and Sky are certain bidders, while Discovery, who own Eurosport, revealed their interest in the rights a fortnight ago.

Now it has emerged that beIN have been using London sports rights specialist Mark Oliver as a consultant on the Premier League rights possibilities.

Although that is not a firm indication that the Qatar-based station will bid, it does suggest they are thinking about it. Having the world’s richest TV network involved would take the price of the 168 matches bundled in seven packages — already mooted to fetch £10million a game — further into the stratosphere.

If beIN bid, it is likely to be on their own rather than in partnership with BT Sport. That combination seemed possible when beIN let their pundit Andy Gray work as a co-commentator on BT FA Cup matches last season, an experiment that has not been repeated this campaign.

The fact ITV did not come to the table for Premier League highlights makes it all the more odd that they chose to sack lead football presenter Adrian Chiles with immediate effect last week and replace him with Premier League-friendly Mark Pougatch. The timing suggested a link with the highlights, yet ITV say Pougatch’s appointment was unconnected.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s retention of Match of the Day is not expected to stop Gary Lineker hosting BT Sport’s Champions League coverage next season, although an exclusivity clause in Lineker’s BBC contract related to the British market will have to be renegotiated.

Jan 172015

The Premier League’s chances of sealing a staggering £10million-per-game agreement – and £5 billion overall – from the next three-year domestic rights deal are even stronger now two foreign TV giants are involved.

The battle between Sky Sports and BT Sport in the auction for the seven packages was already such that £10m for each of 168 live games was an achievable target.

But the Premier League also have America’s massively-funded Discovery Channel looking closely at the tender document while Qatar-based beIN Sports are discussing whether to bid before the February 6 deadline.

Discovery, famous for their documentaries, look the more interested of the two potential new challengers. They own Eurosport so have an established platform on which to screen matches. Even one of the two mini 14-game packages might be seen as a way of establishing the Discovery-Eurosport partnership in the UK. Sports rights specialist Peter Hutton has been appointed Eurosport CEO to build content.

As for beIN Sports, they have the financial muscle to outbid all rivals and it seems a matter of when, rather than if, they will enter England’s domestic football market.

Doha executives say they will give serious consideration as to whether now is the right time to move. The competition will delight the Premier League, who sell each of the seven packages to the highest bidder, and it might be that three different networks share content from 2016-17.

Dec 122014

The Premier League is understood to have offered a small number of matches on Friday nights to be broadcast live on TV from 2016.

It is thought up to ten matches will be broadcast at this unconventional time.

A total of 168 live matches will be offered to broadcasters each season for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19, but no single bidder will be allowed more than 126 matches.

For the next TV rights deal, running from August 2016, the Premier League is to make 168 live matches available per season – 14 more than the current 154 – divided into five packages of 28 matches and two packages of 14 matches.

Despite recent speculation following a official challenge from Virgin Media – which is currently being investigated by Ofcom – the Saturday 2:45pm and 5:15pm blackout to encourage fans to watch matches at the stadium will remain.

Rights to top-flight games are currently shared between Sky (five packages – 116 games per season) and BT (two packages – 38 games per season).

The last deal was worth a combined total of £3.018 billion, and the new tender process is expected to be completed in February 2015.

Tender documents have also been made available for the free-to-air highlights packages.

Currently and traditionally, the BBC has held those rights and broadcast footage on Match of the Day.

However, ITV – who broadcast The Premiership for the 2001-02 season through to the 2003-04 season – is rumoured to be interested in regaining these rights.

A separate sales process will take place for two other Premier League rights packages – a “near-live” long-form package of 212 games and an internet-based clips package. These packages are currently held by Sky and News UK, the publisher of the Sun, respectively.

The rights auction will take place next year, with the contracts likely to be awarded in February and the new deal running for three seasons from August 2016.

Sky and BT will go head-to-head for the rights but the cost of live games is likely to be pushed up further by interest from rival broadcasters such as Discovery – the US media company that now owns Eurosport – and the Qatar-backed al-Jazeera.

There has also been speculation that technology companies such as Apple and Google-backed YouTube could bid for digital rights. Some analysts believe the expected increased competition could increase the total value of the next live rights deal by 50% to £4.5bn.

Nov 212014

Match of the Day future in doubt as ITV plan Premier League rights bid
ITV is expected to place a significant bid for the Premier League highlights rights for the 2016-19 seasons in the New Year, putting the future of Match of the Day in doubt.

Reports suggest ITV is set to launch a raid on Match of the Day’s rights to top-flight highlights as broadcasters gear up for the Premier League auction despite a recent intervention from the media regulator.

The 2016-19 season package is expected to sell for more than the £180 million paid by the BBC last time.

Match of the Day recently celebrated its 50th anniversary on the BBC, and it remains a ratings hit for the corporation with Gary Lineker as its main host.

The prospect of the BBC and ITV facing off for the highlights is just one subplot for in a Premier League rights battle that will again see Sky and BT Sport competing go head to head for live games. It is not expected to be derailed by the investigation announced by Ofcom this week.

The BBC paid £60m per year to retain the rights under the current deal, which runs to the end of next season. That helped the Premier League to a record £5.5bn in broadcasting income over three years, fuelled by a bidding war between BT Sport and Sky that boosted the income from its domestic rights by 70% to £3bn.

The live rights to Premier League football are expected to remain on BT Sport and Sky Sports, who will also be going head-to-head in a bidding war for the 2016-19 season rights in the New Year.

May 292014

BT Sport has made its first move into men’s tennis buying the TV rights to pre-Wimbledon tournaments including Queen’s.

BT Sport will share live coverage of the pre-Wimbledon event with the BBC, which first began screening the event in 1979, in a deal struck with the Lawn Tennis Association.

BT Sport is effectively replacing Eurosport, which previously covered Queen’s alongside the BBC.

BT Sport will also air exclusive coverage of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Aegon Classic event, which takes place at the Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, next month.

Additionally, BT Sport will also share live coverage with the BBC of the men’s and women’s tournaments at the Aegon International at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne.

The BBC is the host broadcaster of live coverage of Wimbledon, after signing a contract extension until 2017.

Apr 262014

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF will not broadcast the games of the Football World Cup 2014 on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellite system at 13° East due to rights restrictions.

The broadcasters’ live coverage of all 64 World Cup matches will only be transmitted on Astra (19.2° East) which has a smaller footprint than Hot Bird and acts as the main DTH platform serving domestic satellite households in Germany.

“The contractual agreement with FIFA does not enable ZDF to distribute the coverage on Eutelsat Hot Bird,” a ZDF spokesman told Broadband TV News. He added that no decision has been made yet which programmes will replace ZDF’s World Cup transmissions on the Eutelsat satellite.

A spokesperson from SWR, the ARD affiliate handling the World Cup coverage, told Broadband TV News that, according to the present state of knowledge, ARD will only distribute the World Cup matches on Astra, like it has been the case at the previous World Cup four years ago. SWR expects to make a firm statement on this matter in mid-May 2014.

The rights issue arises from Hot Bird’s large footprint through which ARD and ZDF reach, for example, expats, hotels, embassies and army troops in remote areas not served by Astra. The wide-beam transponders used by the broadcasters also cover the Middle East and Northern Africa where pay-TV broadcaster beIN Sports from the Al-Jazeera group has obtained the exclusive live broadcast rights from FIFA. With the removal of their unencrypted World Cup coverage, ARD and ZDF avoid a legal dispute with the rights holder in these territories.

ARD and ZDF on Hotbird will therefore have to show alternate programming, when World Cup football matches are being played and show on the same channels on Astra 19 east.


FIFA would like to reiterate that contrary to some reports about the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ coverage in the Middle East and Northern Africa, including statements attributed to ZDF, FIFA’s broadcast partner in Germany, ZDF will not be broadcasting matches unencrypted on the Eutelsat Hot Bird satellite platform during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. ZDF/ARD are media rights licensees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ for the German territory only. As such, their broadcasts will be available in the German language and restricted to Germany. beIN Sports is the exclusive Media Rights Licensee for the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Jan 302014

BSkyB has announced a five-year deal to continue to exclusively broadcast WWE’s flagship shows in the UK and Ireland through to 2019.

The broadcaster will continue to show Raw and SmackDown and adds WWE Main Event to its lineup in high-definition on Sky Sports.

It will also show additional programming on Sky1, while all 12 pay-per-view events will continue to be available on Sky Sports Box Office, including WrestleMania.

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said: “WWE is brilliant entertainment, and I am delighted to once again extend our relationship with them

“WWE is hugely popular with our viewers, and now they can continue to watch all the big events and weekly programmes with us.”

Executive Vice President of International at WWE Gerrit Meier added: “We’re proud of our 30-year partnership with BSkyB, the leader in delivering the best in sports and entertainment.

“This partnership is a testament to the passion our fans have for WWE content and the long-term growth potential for our brand worldwide.”

Nov 222013

Highlights of Champions League and Europa League matches will be shown on ITV until 2018 after agreeing a new deal with UEFA.

The deal guarantees coverage of the two competitions on free-to-air television for three years starting from the 2015/2016 season.

Each week during the competitions, ITV will show comprehensive highlights programmes covering all of the week’s Champions League games on Wednesday nights and on Thursday nights for the Europa League.

ITV will also show highlights of both finals and the UEFA Super Cup, as part of the deal.

BT Sport recently paid close to £1bn for live rights for three years for the Champions League

Jul 272013

The forthcoming battle for Champions League TV rights in the UK is expected to result in a £1billion bonanza for UEFA.

The current three-year contract with Sky and ITV is worth £400m but the entry of BT Sport into the market is forecast to lead to the price more than doubling.

BT are, according to reports, prepared to splash out on the Champions League, as they have done for Premier League and FA Cup content.

And with Sky and ITV both determined to pay whatever it takes to retain coverage of the prestige competition, UEFA can expect a windfall.

Sky claim that losing out to BT for the FA Cup means more money is available for the Champions League, for which they remain favourites with ITV to keep the contract.

Dec 122012

England’s Premier League (EPL) soccer administrators are not yet ready to award the TV rights for the important Middle East and North Africa market.

A decision was originally expected last September.

The new rights cover the 2013 – 2016 seasons.

The rights are currently held by Abu Dhabi Media and used on its Abu Dhabi TV Network (AD-TV). AD-TV also holds the rights to Formula 1 races and Wimbledon tennis.   Locally, the consensus is that AD-TV paid around $100 million annually for the EPL rights, and few doubt that the next three years will cost more.

An EPL spokesman said there was no rush to conclude a deal, although the Tender document has been issued to all likely bidders. The EPL said there would be no decision this side of the holiday season.

Other bidders are likely to ensure the EPL rights represent a maximum income for the England Football Association, with Al Jazeera Sports a likely bidder. Some local observers suggest that Abu Dhabi and Al Jazeera might be considering a joint bid for the rights. Other contenders could include a revitalised Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), while there are any number of vanity players who could enter the market.