TV RIGHTS CLIPS 1: Football, Formula One, MotoGP and more

  • The UK’s BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV are both expected to bid for the live rights to English football’s Premier League, should the European Commission force the league to make rights available to a greater number of broadcasters.  The commission is investigating the league’s exclusive £1.1bn (€1.62m), three-year deal with satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.
  • The BBC said that live games were “prime rights and we are duty bound to look at them”.  Brian Barwick, head of ITV Sport, said that a live package would be “an interesting proposal”.
  • BSkyB’s chief executive Tony Ball warned that any dilution of its exclusivity in the next Premier League contract would significantly affect the amount it was prepared to pay for the rights.
  • The French football league, Ligue de Football Professionnel, and French satellite broadcasters Canal Plus and TPS agreed to a mediation process proposed by the Court of Appeal in Paris to resolve the dispute over the league’s television rights.  If there is no agreement by March 25, the dispute will go back to the Court of Appeal.
  • Canal Plus and the LFP are appealing the decision of the French competition authorities to suspend the award of exclusive rights to Canal Plus for €480m (£327.6m) per year for three years, 2004-05 to 2006-07.  The suspension followed a complaint by TPS.
  • Australian commercial broadcaster Network Ten acquired the rights for motor racing’s Formula 1 world championship in a three-year deal.  It will host broadcast the Australian Grand Prix.  The channel will take over from Network Nine.
  • Ten will televise most races delayed but will only show limited coverage of the Malaysian and Japanese grands prix because of a clash with its coverage of the V8 Supercar series.  Satellite broadcaster Fox Sports Australia is set to acquire live coverage of the two races.
  • Malaysian state broadcaster Radio Television Malaysia acquired Formula 1 rights ahead of rival commercial broad-caster TV3.  RTM will host-broadcast the Malaysian grand prix.
  • Australian free-to-air broadcaster Seven Network acquired the rights for five motor racing series.  The Nations Cup, GT Performance, V8 Brutes, Production Car and Formula 3 – all part of the eight-round Pro Car Champ Series – will be televised in 32 regular Saturday afternoon programmes.  The network will also host broadcast the international Bathurst 24-hour race in November.
  • Pan-European motor racing channel Motors TV renewed the rights for the US Ascar series for one year.  It will show each round in a one-hour highlights programme.
  • Finnish broadcaster Nelonen acquired the rights for motorcycling’s MotoGP World Championships and will show three hours of live coverage on race days, plus a highlights programme.
  • Brazilian broadcaster Globo made a R$225m (£39m/€57m) offer for the 2003 Brazilian football championship rights, with an extra R$10m depending on pay-per-view sales.  The Clube dos 13 group of the most powerful clubs has not yet agreed because it also wants an offer for the 2004 championship.  Rival broadcaster SBT is also interested.
  • BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the UK’s BBC, agreed a deal with the International Traithlon Union for international distribution rights for all ITU events, including the Triathlon World Cup and World Championships.  BBC Worldwide will distribute 16 52-minute highlights programmes a year, in addition to live coverage from some venues, such as the 2003 World Championships in New Zealand.  The ITU retains international broadcast distribution rights for Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Spanish broadcaster Canal Malaga became the country’s first regional channel to show live coverage of a Uefa cup tie, Malaga’s home tie of its fourth round clash against Greece’s AEK Athens.  Another regional broadcaster, Canal Sur, had also been interested but refused to pay the asking-price.  But Canal Sur will show the return leg in Athens, having bought the rights from the Sportfive agency.
  • Italian agency Media Partners concluded a television rights deal with Austrian public-service broadcaster ORF for last weekend’s World Cup alpine skiing events at Garmisch, Germany, two days before the event took place.

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