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Television and Broadcasting

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BT and Conference do deal

As widely anticipated, the Football Conference and BT Sport have agreed a two-year deal for the new channels to show thirty live matches a season from the Conference Premier.

BT Sport will host live broadcasts from the grounds for twenty-five league matches, plus both legs of the play-off semis and the Promotion Final at Wembley, from the start of the 2013/14 season in August.

Scottish league changes finally agreed

The Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League have agreed to merge after a marathon meeting. The league structure will remain a top flight of 12 and three lower divisions of 10. There will be play-offs between the top and second tier league.

Spain to move to collective sale of tv rights

Spain's government plans to push for a new law that will give the Spanish football league control over the collective sale of television rights in a move to improve club finances, collect outstanding taxes, and increase competitiveness.

Miguel Cardenal, president of Spain's Sports Council, said on Thursday that he wants to present the new law by the end of this year to give the league more power over the individual clubs.

Big bid battle for FA Cup rights

It looks like there is going to be a big battle for television rights to the FA Cup which should leave the Football Association significantly better off. In January 2012, ITV acquired broadcast rights for 16 FA Cup games per season, as well as some of England's home qualifying games, for an annual cost of £43m.

BT close to Conference deal

BT Vision are hungry for content in their battle with BSkyB and it looks as if they are close to a £300,000 deal to show Football Conference game as well as stream them online. It is thought that 25-30 live games will be shown in the first season.

For the last three years the Conference has had a deal with Premier Sports which saw home clubs paid £5,000 and visiting clubs £1,000 for each live broadcast. It's a long way from the riches of the Premiership.

BT ups the ante in war with BSkyB

BT has upped the ante in its battle with BSkyB to retain broadband customers. Subscribers to its reduced cost broadband service will have free access to its share of Premier League football games. BT has invested £2.5bn in its high speed broadband network and a further £1bn over three years in its sports channels.

Sky Deutschland hits pay dirt

Its cheap tickets are the toast of the supporters' movement, and lazy commentators are predicting that it will knock the Premiership off its perch, but the Bundesliga is also boosting the profits of Sky Deutschland. Last year they extended their Bundesliga match rights until the 2016-17 season and it's already looking like a good buy.

Up for the Cup

The 5.15 timing for this year's FA Cup final has provoked controversy.   Wigan Athletic fans are particularly aggrieved.  By the time the game has finished it will be too late for them to get to Euston and catch a train home.   The FA's response has been to recommend using a coach, provided by one of their sponsors, National Express.  But this could mean a return home well after midnight, not fun if you have small children with you.

US Premiership deal seen as breakthrough

In discussion of new markets for Premiership television rights, the emphasis has been on emerging countries in Asia alongside an increasing interest in Africa where GDP per capita is growing rapidly in some countries.    Rights are now sold to more than 200 markets.

Pub TV war hots up

The battle between BT Vision and Sky for the lucrative pub market is intensifying.   This will be welcome news to pub landlords who feel that they have been overcharged by Sky.   The pub trade has never really recovered from the smoking ban and many pubs have closed.