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TV RIGHTS CLIPS 2: NHL, football, US sports and hockey

  • Ice Hockey: The US National Hockey League signed a two-year deal with the NBC network, with an option to renew for a further two years.  The network will not pay a rights fees but will share advertising revenue after deducting production costs.  NBC will show seven regular-season games, six play-off games in regular Saturday afternoon slots, as well as peak-time coverage of games three to seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.
  • The NHL also signed a one-year, $60m (£34m/€50m) deal with cable broadcaster ESPN, with two separate one-year renewal options, reportedly worth $70m each.  Under the new deal, which also includes internet, video-on-demand, high-definition and Spanish-language rights, 40 games a year will be shown on ESPN2, the broadcaster’s second channel. 
  • The deals replace a five-year, $120m-a-year deal with ESPN and sister network ABC, which expires at the end of the season.  ESPN had showed up to 104 games a season on both its ESPN and ESPN 2 channels, although it reduced that number to 70 for the 2003-04 season.
  • Football: The Sportfive agency acquired the international television rights to Italian Serie A clubs Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan in two-year deals with pay-television operator Sky Italia.
  • Football: A joint venture between Italian agency Media Partners and the Silva family, owners of one of Italy’s largest soap and detergent manufacturers, made an offer for the international television rights to 15 Serie A clubs.
  • American Football: The Arena Football League signed a two-year deal, from 2005 to 2006, with US television network NBC.  The deal extends an existing two-year deal for 2003 and 2004. NBC had the option of taking up to four years.  The deal involves no rights fee, NBC splitting advertising revenue with the league after deducting operating costs.
  • American Football: US Disney-owned broadcasters, the ABC network and cable company ESPN, acquired the rights for US collegiate American football league the Atlantic Coast Conference, in a seven-year deal, from 2004-05 to 2010-11, worth $258m (£146m/€215m). 
  • American Football:  ITV acquired the UK free-to-air rights for American football’s Super Bowl in a three-year deal from 2005 to 2007.  The deal also includes the rights for three highlights programmes featuring the NFL play-off matches that lead up to the Super Bowl.  Pay-television operator British Sky Broadcasting already has a deal in place, covering the regular season, play-offs and the Super Bowl.
  • Ice Hockey: Canadian cable sports network TSN acquired the television rights to National Hockey League club Toronto Maple Leafs’ matches in a three-year deal worth $20m (£11m/€17m) per season.  TSN will sublicense 15 of the 40 regular season games to cable rival Rogers Sportsnet, which bid higher than TSN but could not agree a deal with the club’s owners.
  • Ice Hockey: UK cable channel the North American Sports Network acquired the exclusive television rights for the UK and Ireland for the World Cup of Hockey, an eight-team tournament to be held in August and September this year in several European and North American venues.
  • Hockey: Asian cable and satellite broadcaster Ten Sports acquired the rights for four matches to be played in Pakistan, as part of an India-Pakistan hockey test series, in a deal with the Pakistan Hockey Federation.  It is in talks with the Indian Hockey Federation to acquire the rights for the four India-based matches.
  • Football: Six Israeli Premier League clubs are threatening to form a breakaway league if the Israeli Football Association does not approve their plans for the distribution of television rights income.  The clubs want to take control of the rights themselves, with the federation receiving a 10-per-cent cut of revenues.  

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