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Television and Broadcasting

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Where is women's football going?

This article takes an in depth look at the state of women's football in England, including its history and a comparison with the fully professional league in the United States.

The Football Association aims to make it the second most popular sport in the UK.   There is quite a long way to go, certainly in terms of attendances.   They are comparable with those of non-league teams and, indeed, most matches are played in non-league stadiums.

Virgin calls for television rights probe

Virgin Media has called on the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom to launch a competion inquiry into the escalating cost of rights to broadcast Premier League football.  A new auction is due early next year and Virgin predicts a further 60 per cent hike in costs.

Lacking the financial firepower of BSkyB and BT, who jointly pay £1bn a year to screen the top matches, Virgin will not bid in the next Premier League rights auction.  

Real time betting is changing football broadcasting

Online bookmakers are increasingly becoming sports broadcasters.   For example, today many of the top online bookmakers will be streaming the United States versus the Czech Republic.  The idea is to facilitate real time betting.

One of the main beneficiaries of this trend is a company called Perform.   It does not have a very high profile, but was something of a stock market favourite before the shares slumped from almost 600p in 2013 to around 210p recently.

Premiership set for new cash bonanza

The rivalry between BT and Sky means that the Premier League looks set for a new cash bonanza when the live television rights are auctioned at the end of the year.

BT have set their sights high, having managed to outwit rivals with a shock swoop for games in the last round.    It won't have the element of surprise this time, but the telecoms group reckons that having secured the Champions League rights last November puts them in a stronger position in this round. However, they will not be satisfied with keeping what they have.  

Premier League opens up new technology war

The Premier League is concerned that fans are threatening its earning power by recording content from matches on smart phone and other devices and sharing them on various sites.  Vine, which is a short-form video sharing service is often used (it is owner by Twitter).  The Times and The Sun pay a lot of money for exclusive rights to this sort of content.

Is football making a break through in the US?

It's a question which has been asked many times before and usually gets a positive but over optimistic answer.   However, the attendance of 109,318 for last night's game between Manchester United and Real Madrid was the biggest ever recorded in the US for a soccer game and was impressive by any standards. Apparently, the fact that the crowd sat on benches helped to cram them in.

Make your mind up time for pub landlords

With the start of the new Premier League season, three weeks away pub companies and landlords must decide whether to renew their Sky and BT subscriptions.

However, there is a growing focus on the eating out market and it seems that many landlords and pub groups regard screening live sport not just as increasingly expensive but a hindrance to attracting their target audiences of 40-somethings, females and families.  

Liverpool and United top TV table

Manchester United and Liverpool are the two clubs that attract the largest number of viewers at home reports Sporting Intelligence in a blog post that contains a lot of fascinating information.   In the couch potato stakes, Manchester United matches attract an average of 1.4 million viewers and those of Liverpool 1.31m.   No other team gets above 1.2 million.

World Cup viewing records in US

The World Cup has set new viewing records in the United States both for television and for live streaming through smartphones, tablets and consumers.   With most matches being shown in business hours, Americans have been turning to their devices to keep up.

The USA's match with Belgiym arrived a 9.6 overnight rating with ESPN, the highest for any World Cup match the network has broadcast.   There has been a 50 per cent surge in live streaming compared with the previous record, set during the 2012 London Olympics.

Soccer still short of a breakthrough in the US

Every time there is a World Cup one can expect a slew of articles proclaiming that soccer has now 'established' itself in the United States.   To be fair, Major League Soccer (MLS) has made steady progress, but it is still some way behind the major traditional sports such as baseball and American football.