TV RIGHTS CLIPS 2: Ice hockey, handball, skiing, tennis and more

  • Ice hockey: US network NBC agreed a one-year extension to its revenue-sharing deal with the National Hockey League, through to the end of the 2008-09 season.  NBC’s ratings for NHL regular season games were up 11 per cent last season, but increased by 33 per cent for the 18-49 male demographic.  NBC will carry 10 regular-season games and up to 15 play-off games.
  • Handball: French telecoms operator Orange acquired the rights for the first-choice weekly match of the men’s first division domestic handball league, as well as a package of magazine and highlights rights.  Orange will pay over €1.1m (£865,000) per year, including production costs, for the three seasons from 2008-09 to 2010-11.  Eurosport France, the French version of the pan-European sports broadcaster and the present incumbent, acquired the second-pick weekly match, paying about €600,000 per season, including production costs (page 1).
  • Skiing: German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF agreed a new three-year extension of their deal with the Deutscher Skiverbund covering the 2008-09 to 2010-11 seasons.  ARD and ZDF will pay about €6m (£4.7m) a year for the rights for all alpine and nordic skiing World Cup events in Germany, including the two Four Hills ski-jumping events at Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  The deal extends a one-year deal.  The Infront Sports & Media agency owns the international rights, paying about €4m a season.
  • Tennis: US broadcaster ESPN acquired the television, internet and mobile rights for the Wimbledon tennis championships in a six-year deal from 2008 to 2013 with the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, extending an existing deal.  The deal includes rights for ESPN International in Latin and South America and the Caribbean.  ESPN2 will show about 100 hours of coverage per year, including one women’s and one men’s semi-final exclusively.  ESPN360.com will show more than 200 hours of live coverage during the tournament.  US network NBC renewed its deal for the championships last year until 2011.
  • Gaming: Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport acquired exclusive continental Europe rights for professional video gaming league Championship Gaming Series from UK pay-operator BSkyB, the original rights-holder which will retain primary broadcast rights for the UK and Ireland.  Eurosport 2 will begin showing highlights of the inaugural 2007 series this month, following it with coverage of the 2008 series.
  • Triathlon: Pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports and US webcaster WCSN acquired the rights for the International Triathlon Union’s World Cup series and World Championships television package in separate deals with the ITU. The ESS deal includes cable and satellite television broadcast rights in Asia, plus mobile and internet rights.
  • Rugby Union: Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport acquired live rights for the inaugural 2008 Asian Five Nations tournament, featuring Japan, Korea, the Arabian Gulf, Hong Kong and Kazakhstan.  Eurosport will show four matches live.  The deal was agreed with the IEC in Sports agency, which was earlier appointed as the television coordinators of the event by the Asian Rugby Football Union, the event organisers.  The tournament is part of newly-formed competition involving 25 Asian rugby teams, governed by the Asian Rugby Football Union and sanctioned by the International Rugby Board, which gives the competition an annual grant of $500,000 (£250,000/€318,000)

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