Analysis

Features

The Italian football league is finalising its guidelines for the tender process which must be approved by the country’s competition and communication authorities. The process is likely to be more complicated, controversial and political than the equivalent processes anywhere else. Story by Frank Dunne.

Uefa, European football’s governing body, could be on the verge of a sharp downturn in Champions League media-rights revenues for the 2021-24 cycle, with specific factors in the key UK and France markets exacerbating a broader price correction already anticipated for similar high-profile properties.

The deal struck this week between US media group Discovery and social media platform Twitter for coverage of the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo is expected to be the first of many such clip and highlights deals, as Discovery looks for additional ways to monetise its substantial investment in the rights in Europe.

Greek public-service broadcaster ERT has acquired rights for the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) Champions League in a one-season deal after pay-television broadcaster Nova elected not to renew, with the property’s value falling by 25 per cent on a per-season basis.

Wanda Sports’ mass participation drive and its subsidiary Infront’s push for summer sports were the basis for their decision to push into athletics through a record 10-year agreement with the International Association of Athletics Federation, from 2020.

Pay-television broadcaster Cosmote reduced its outlay on Greek Cup rights by two-thirds and pushed to shorten the renewal duration to just one season to give it an opportunity to review the impact on the property’s value of a restructuring of the competition, SportBusiness Media understands.
USA

The Bundesliga is taking a calculated gamble in its new US media-rights deal, with ESPN, as despite the huge increase in the rights fee the deal involves a significant reduction in linear television exposure.

Fifa, football’s global governing body, has taken advantage of the stronger advertising opportunities offered by the winter scheduling of the 2022 World Cup in its rights sale to the Telesport marketing agency in Russia.

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4’s recent Formula One sublicensing renewal with pay-television broadcaster Sky extends their relationship for another three years, until the end of 2022, with the deal value unchanged, SportBusiness Media understands.

The Football Association of Thailand and its media-rights sales adviser, the Octagon agency, expect a competitive market to deliver a revenue increase of over a third in their forthcoming tender for domestic and international rights to club and home-fixture national team events for the 2021-28 cycle.

The European Handball Federation unified both its club and national team competitions in the Balkans into one new deal with Arena Sports, leading to a sharp rise in the value of its rights in the region.

Filipino pay-television broadcaster Solar Entertainment Corporation withdrew from talks to renew its long-held rights to the National Basketball Association last week after deciding the property had become too expensive, SportBusiness Media understands.

Uefa is close to completing a record-breaking deal for rights to the 2024 European Championship with Deutsche Telekom, in what would be the largest fee ever received by Uefa for European Championship rights in a single market.
USA

Pay-television broadcaster beIN will pay a more than 10-per-cent uplift in rights fees for Spanish football’s LaLiga over the course of its new four-season renewal in North America, SportBusiness Media understands, despite the challenging conditions beIN faces in that market.

Public broadcaster France Télévisions renewed its free-to-air rights to the final of the country’s Top 14 rugby union club competition for the 2019-23 cycle at around the same level as its previous deal, SportBusiness Media understands.

The Infront agency has almost doubled the value of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s global media and marketing rights and promised future digital investment and collaboration to seal a 10-year agreement.

Competition between pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia and OTT platform DAZN for the rights to the American National Basketball Association ensured the former paid a substantial uplift for exclusive rights in the country from 2019-20 to 2022-23.

Spain’s LaLiga has for the first time agreed a revenue-sharing deal for its rights in the UK and Ireland for the 2019-22 cycle. LaLiga will receive a fee from pay-television broadcaster Premier Sports, but the two parties will also share revenues in both territories from LaLiga’s dedicated channel, LaLigaTV, SportBusiness Media understands.

DAZN has sublicensed its rights to Spanish football’s LaLiga in Vietnam to local pay-television broadcaster SCTV from 2019-20 to 2022-23, substantially cutting its losses on the property after postponing plans to launch an OTT service in Southeast Asia.