Infront

Features

The rights-trading subsidiaries of sports marketing company Lagardère Unlimited look set for a double boost. World Sport Group is close to renewing its contract with the Asian confederation, while Sportfive remains favourite to renew its deal for African confederation rights.

The Infront Sports & Media agency has secured fee increases in skiing deals with public-service broadcasters in both Austria and Norway.

German public-service broadcasters ARD and ZDF will pay a smaller rights fee for the Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships in 2019 and 2021 than they did for 2015 and 2017, following a deal agreed last week.

The €1.05bn ($1.19bn) acquisition by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda of the Infront Sports & Media agency this week is expected to make the agency even more aggressive in the rights market than it has been in the last two years, when it was being fattened up for sale.

Responses supplied by Infront Sports & Media regarding the recent acquisition of the agency by the Dalian Wanda Group.

The Infront Sports & Media agency is understood to be the strongest challenger to the Sportfive agency for the rights to the events of the Confédération Africaine de Football, including the flagship Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.

Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport last week renewed a host of top skiing rights, with expanded exclusivity and at slight fee increases, in a deal with the Infront Sports & Media agency.

The Union Cycliste Internationale’s long-standing goal of centralising the media rights to the UCI World Tour looks set to be put on the back burner under new president Brian Cookson in favour of more achievable objectives: creating a coherent calendar and improving cycling as a television product.

The Union Cycliste Internationale’s decision to move away from pan-regional deals for its world championship events and appoint the Infront Sports & Media agency to sell the rights on a market-by-market basis appears to be paying off.

The Infront Sports & Media agency’s deals last week for World Championship and World Cup skiing events with Swedish public-service broadcaster SVT are thought to represent a decent increase on the current value of the rights.

Interview with Adam Mason, director of summer sports at Infront Sports & Media, on expanded coverage for the UCI world championships.

Infront Sports & Media’s deal to distribute international rights to the Indonesian Super League (ISL) is “a flag in the ground” in the market for the agency, its managing director in Asia, Ian Mathie, told TV Sports Markets.

The adviser model for football leagues operated by the Infront Sports & Media and MP & Silva agencies could be rolled out in more European markets than the three where it already exists, rights experts say. But it is unlikely to be adopted by leagues which are confident about their growth prospects.

Interview with Ian Mathie, managing director of Infront Pan-Asia, on why the agency moved to acquire the international media rights to the Indonesian Super League.

USA

Private equity company Bridgepoint Capital could exploit the global expansion ambitions of the two major US sports marketing companies – WME/IMG and CAA – to secure a price in excess of €1bn ($1.32bn) for the Infront Sports & Media agency, experts say.

German sports broadcaster Sport1 picked up the rights to the inaugural season of the Champions Hockey League ice hockey tournament for a small rights fee.

Fifa, football’s world governing body, said that Host Broadcast Services, the World Cup host broadcaster, had provided its media partners for the 2014 competition in Brazil with “more and better” coverage compared to the 2010 and 2006 tournaments.

Media rights to the Champions Hockey League ice hockey club competition were sold last month in Switzerland, with a rights fee and production costs included.

The value of the media and marketing rights to the bobsleigh and skeleton federation’s main events stayed steady in a renewal with the Infront Sports & Media agency last month.