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TV Rights Deals 2: Major League Baseball, Formula One, Skiiing and more

Baseball: US sports network ESPN extended a deal with Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media arm for inter-active television and other digital media rights through to 2013. The agreement includes rights for ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN’s mobile television services and other emerging platforms. The deal covers digital rights worldwide outside certain Asian and Pacific Rim markets.

Basketball: Canadian sports network TSN acquired the television rights to 48 matches of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors in a two-year deal. It will carry the matches on its main TSN channel and its new digital channel TSN2.

Basketball: French pay-television operator Canal Plus renewed its exclusive deal with the Fédération Française de Basketball for the top-tier men’s league, the Pro A, for four years from 2009-10 to 2012-13. Canal Plus will pay €4m (£3m) a year, up from €2m in the present deal, doubling its coverage to two games a week.

Formula One: Greek commercial broadcaster Antenna 1 acquired the rights in a three-year deal with the DNK agency from 2009 to 2011, paying about €3m (£2.3m) a year (page 3).

Handball: Scandinavian broadcaster SBS acquired the rights in Denmark for the 2008-09 Champions League group stage away matches of Danish clubs FC Copenhagen A/S (women’s team) and GOG Svendborg TGI (men’s team), in a one-year deal with Telenor subsidiary DDtv. It is the first deal that DDtv has done to sublicense the sports rights it acquired from public-service broadcaster DR in 2007.

Ice Hockey: Swiss public-service broadcaster SRG SSR acquired the rights for the IIHF World Championships from 2009 to 2011 in a deal with the Infront Sports & Media agency.

Olympics: Italian pay-broadcaster Sky Italia acquired the rights for the 2014 and 2016 Games in a deal with the International Olympic Committee worth €152m (£119m). The deal covers rights across all platforms and contains a commitment for a minimum 100 hours free-to-air coverage for 2010 and 200 hours for 2012 (page 1).

Olympics: Telecoms company Terra acquired new-media rights for the 2010 and 2012 Games for Latin America excluding Brazil, in a deal worth $8m (£4.5m/€6m) with the International Olympic Committee (page 5).

Rugby Union: Australian pay-broadcaster Fox Sports acquired the rights for the 2011 and 2015 World Cups in a deal worth $45m (£26.5m/€33.5m). Fox sublicensed free-to-air rights for about 19 matches per tournament to the Nine Network for a total of $15m (page 1).

Rugby Union: French telecoms operator Orange signed a deal with the Ligue nationale de rugby, giving it video-on-demand and title-sponsorship rights for the French top-tier domestic league, the Top 14. Orange will pay €6m (£4.7m) a year in a four-year deal from 2008-09 to 2011-12. Orange’s main rival, pay-television operator Canal Plus holds live rights to the tournament, which will be renamed the Top14 Orange.

Skiing: The European Broadcasting Union acquired the worldwide media rights – excluding Austria and Switzerland – for World Cup skiing events in Austria in a three-year deal, 2008-09 to 2010-11, with the Österreichischer Skiverband worth around €6m (£4.7m) per year (page 7).

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