- Australian Rules: Australian pay-television operator Foxtel acquired pay-television rights for the Australian Football League in a sub-licensing deal worth A$315.5m (£124m/€188m) over five years with free-to-air networks Seven and Ten.
Foxtel will pay A$265.5m in rights fees, with payments starting at A$50m in the first year and rising by three per cent each year, plus $50m in contra advertising. Foxtel will also take on about A$60m in production costs that would otherwise have been borne by Seven and Ten. The Foxtel deal covers the rights for four games a week and delayed rights to all matches, including the finals. Satellite pay-television operator Austar will also show the Foxtel matches, paying about A$5m a year towards Foxtel’s rights fee.
The deal concludes almost a year of negotiations in which Foxtel had refused to lift an initial A$45m-a-year offer and the free-to-air networks had demanded A$60m. Seven and Ten’s deal with the AFL runs from 2007 to 2011 and is worth A$780m, of which A$690m is in cash and A$90m in contra advertising.
- Australian Rules: UK pay-operator Setanta acquired the rights for Australian Rules Football in a five-year deal from 2007 to 2011 with the Australian Football League.
- Rugby League: UK pay-operator BSkyB acquired the exclusive live rights for National Leagues One and Two, English rugby league’s lower divisions outside the Super League, in a two-year deal 2008 and 2009. It is the first time the national leagues will get regular-season coverage, with BSkyB showing 25 live matches a season on Thursdays, replacing its coverage of Australia’s National Rugby League.
- Rugby League: UK pay-operator Setanta acquired the rights to Australia’s National Rugby League in a five-year deal with the NRL running from 2007 to 2011.
- Tennis: Modern Times Group acquired the Nordic rights for the men’s ATP Masters series, plus 10 other ATP tour events. Modern Times acquired the rights in Denmark from 2008 to 2010 and in Finland, Norway and Sweden from 2007 to 2010.
- Tennis: US cable sports channel ESPN and premium cable and satellite channel The Tennis Channel signed a sharing deal that will give ESPN increased coverage from the French Open, for which The Tennis Channel acquired the rights last summer. The deal also allows The Tennis Channel to show around 100 hours of live coverage from the Australian Open, an ESPN property, from 2008 until 2011. The two channels will share production costs from both events.