Europe

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Match-choice restrictions placed by Spain’s LaLiga on the free-to-air package in its UK and Ireland rights tenders for the 2019-22 cycle may limit interest from broadcasters, according to industry experts spoken to by SportBusiness Media.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Digital terrestrial broadcaster FreeSports has acquired exclusive free-to-air rights in the UK to this year’s edition of cricket’s Global T20 Canada.

Turkish football’s governing body, the Turkish Football Federation, has rejected beIN-owned broadcaster Digiturk’s latest offer to renegotiate the remainder of its five-season deal for the top-tier Süp…

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) has entered into a period of direct negotiation with interested broadcasters for the 2021-23 domestic rights to the French Open grand slam tournament after the failure…

Telco Telekom Romania has made 130 of its sports staff redundant amid months of speculation about parent company Deutsche Telekom's retreat from the Romanian market, according to local media

Features

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.

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 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.

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.  

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Media group Discovery’s willingness to acquire more ATP Tour content in the Nordic region than rival broadcasters had in the current cycle was key to its successful acquisition of the property.

The Spanish football federation’s award of 2019 Copa del Rey final rights to public-service broadcaster TVE could have left it open to legal action.

A snap general election in Greece could thwart Greek football club PAOK’s attempts to seal a lucrative rights deal with public-service broadcaster ERT.

The VTB United League, a pan-European club basketball competition, has significantly increased the value of its international rights in a new deal with the Lagardère Sports agency amid interest from local Russian agencies.

Spain’s Mediapro agency has again acquired LaLiga’s package of live, free-to-air Primera División matches, paying a similar fee in the 2019-22 cycle as it did in 2016-19. The sale of this package to Mediapro – alongside one containing free-to-air rights to two Segunda División matches per match-week – closes LaLiga’s domestic tender for the cycle.

Amazon secured Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour rights in the UK for the 2020-23 cycle with a bid nearly 60 per cent higher than incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport's current fee, SportBusiness Media understands, as the tech and ecommerce giant moves to establish a dominant position in UK tennis broadcasting.

The Italian competition authority’s investigation into the sale of rights for Serie A is ostensibly a disaster for MP & Silva and B4 and a let-off for IMG. But MP & Silva and B4 are no longer active and IMG could yet face a major problem. The agency could be hit with a substantial damages claim by the league for lost earnings.