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Television and Broadcasting

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Sky moves ahead in ratings war

The coverage of the Manchester derby, the first blockbuster game of the season,  by Sky Sports attracted more than 2 million viewers at peak.  This was twice the audience BT Sport achieved for Liverpool's game with Leicester.

BT had made a much stronger start to the season, winning the Saturday ratings head-to-head for three weeks on the trot.  Overall, ratings at BT Sport have increased by 8 per cent, while it has been suggested that Sky's ratings have drifted slightly.

Power grab by top European clubs

Uefa will guarantee more places for clubs from Europe's top football leagues in the Champions League, in a power shift towards the wealthiest teams.  The move, which follows threats from rich clubs to create a breakaway competition, will ensure more places for teams from Europe's largest television markets, but to the detriment of smaller nations.

Football tv revenues will continue to rise

Tonight sees the first of a regular series of televised Friday night Premier League games between Manchester United and Southampton.   The innovation has not pleased Saints fans, many of whom have had to take time or a day off work to get there.   Those going by coach won't get home until 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. It demonstrates the power of television companies over the game.

Competition between Sky and BT is likely to continue, pushing prices in an upwards direction.    Down the road, Google, Netflix and Apple might decide to get involved.

Bundesliga gets tv boost

The four year television rights auction for the Bundesliga generated €4.64bn (£3.63bn), an 85 per cent increase on the previous deal, making it the second wealthiest league in Europe.   It has lagged behind rivals in England, Italy and Spain in commercial terms.   It is still some way behind the Premier League which pocketed £5.1bn in a three year rights auction last year.

Arsenal top money league

Arsenal became the first team to collect more than £100m in Premier League prize money in the season just ended.   Next year the club that comes 20th is likely to earn that.

Following their £101m came Manchester City with £96.7m, Manchester United with £96.5m and Tottenham Hotspur with £95.2m.  

Title winners Leicester City came in fifth, receiving £93.2m.   Their matches were selected for broadcast only 15 times, compared with 26 at Manchester United and 25 at Manchester City.

Mexican league a big hit on US TV

Mexico's LIga MX attracts a bigger audience for its televised games on a Spanish language channel than NBC's coverage of the Premier League.   The article looks more generally at the growing popularity of soccer on US television with quotes from football economics guru Stefan Szymanski.

European super league 'inevitable'

A European super league is 'iinevitable', according to Rangers manager Mark Warburton.  He is convinced that the globalisation of sport and an increasingly competitive TV rights market make it a certainty.

'If Bournemouih are competing with Bayern Munich for players it tells me that the market is skewed, and a European Super League can't be far away,' he told The Times.   'The big European clubs won't want to be left behind by smaller ones in England and if you're a broadcaster, which game would you rather show: Norwich v Leicester, or Arsenal v Rangers?'

Blackout rule under threat

Concern is being expressed about the possible removal of the 3pm broadcast blackout rule.   It is argued that it would reduce attendances at lower league and non-league clubs.

Such clubs consider that when they are up against midweek televised matches, attendances decrease. Of course, there are other factors involved such as work commitments and the lack of incentive to come out on a cold, dark night to a draughty ground.

PSG dominate French football

Paris Saint-Germain have a 24 point lead at the top of Ligue 1.  They remain unbeaten this season and they are almost certain to win the French title with more points that any other team in history.

It is now five years since the Qatar Investment Authority bought PSG, a deal that many belive was arranged by Nicolas Sarkozy, then the French president, and a PSG fan.   They were catapulted to the status of a super power in European football.

Cellino sues Football League over TV rights

Controversial Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is bringing a legal action against the Football League over the collective selling of television rights.   The action arises from the League taking out an injunction to force Leeds to play Middlesbrough on Monday night.