Analysis

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Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport took advantage of Sky’s long-running concerns over wrestling body WWE’s OTT service to grab WWE rights in the UK and Ireland from its rival at a steep discount, SportBusiness Media understands.

As TikTok has grown into one of the world's most popular social-media apps during the past year, the short-form video-sharing platform has become an important tool for sports rights-holders to expand and engage their fanbases. 

Turkish agency Saran has negotiated a price reduction for rights to the English Premier League for the 2019-22 cycle, SportBusiness Media understands, the first time it has achieved this since acquiring the property at the turn of the decade.

Mola TV, the new entrant to Indonesia’s sports broadcasting market, is employing a novel strategy straddling pay-television, free-to-air and digital distribution channels to exploit the Premier League rights it has acquired for the upcoming 2019-22 cycle.

The value of rights in Vietnam for the Uefa European Championship increased by over 40 per cent in the latest deal with the incumbent public-service broadcaster VTV, covering the 2020 tournament, which is held every four years.

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Features

BeIN-owned Turkish broadcaster Digiturk has presented the Turkish Football Federation with a proposal to drastically alter its deal for rights to the Turkish Süper Lig after a depreciation in local currency caused costs to balloon, SportBusiness Media understands.

Infront faces a challenge to refinance its spend on English Premier League free-to-air rights in sub-Saharan Africa, despite spending half as much on the 2019-22 rights compared to the 2016-19 cycle.

Having been forced into an open tender by the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority, the Danish Superliga has secured a modest increase in its domestic media-rights income despite a lack of competition.

Sky Italia is taking a calculated gamble in agreeing a two-year sublicensing deal with Mediaset for Uefa Champions League rights. Sky’s legal dispute with Italian public-service broadcaster Rai over the latter's option to renew the rights has not yet been resolved. If Rai eventually wins, it could sue Sky for damages.

The French tennis federation’s (FFT) decision to hold its first tender in six years for domestic rights to the French Open is unlikely to significantly boost incomes or break the broadcasting duopoly of France Télévisions and Eurosport, according to industry experts spoken to by SportBusiness Media.

Media group AMC Networks has paid a significant increase to renew its rights to European Handball Federation events in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, having missed out on several key properties over the last 18 months.

Digital and data specialists Perform Content wrote to tennis’s ATP Tour this week to say the company is prepared to make a larger offer than that currently on the table from IMG for the betting and data rights to ATP World Tour events, SportBusiness Media understands.

Pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus’s surprise move to share all its English Premier League rights in France for the 2019-22 cycle with telco Altice was related to a carriage deal secured late last year with the company, SportBusiness Media understands. This deal enabled Canal’s platform to show RMC Sport channels, allowing it access to the Uefa Champions League.

The value of the Israeli Basketball Premier League’s domestic rights has stalled, with incumbent pay-television broadcaster Sports Channel renewing rights from 2019-20 amid little competition.

The two-and-a-half-year negotiation between Brazilian club Palmeiras and media group Globo ended in a good result for the club last month, as it became one of only three Série A clubs to receive a minimum guarantee for its pay-per-view rights in 2019.

The rights value in Italy for the pre-season International Champions Cup football tournament was weighed down by a combination of lower inventory, a busy summer sports calendar and a tough market environment, SportBusiness Media understands.

The Finnish Ice Hockey Association has increased the value of its domestic rights by about 60 per cent in a new deal with US media group Discovery, whilst retaining the same level of free-to-air exposure.

After two failed negotiations in an uncompetitive environment, the English Premier League has completed a deal in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos with pay-television broadcaster TrueVisions that will see the value of its rights halve.

The Mediapro agency’s offer for the domestic media rights to Serie A for the next two cycles, covering the six seasons from 2021-22 to 2026-27, is a plan B for the league in case it is unable to sell its rights in a competitive tender. The offer is the same as that made by the Spanish production house for the current cycle – an offer accepted by the clubs last year but later rejected.  

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.