Hot Topic - Sports Rights
The lucrative relationship between television and sports is wrapped in love. Great sums are collected and spent with, seemingly, no limit in sight. Somebody, of course, has to pay but who’s to say what is fair?
Television, sports and money fit together nicely. They form an eternal triangle, feeding each other and feeding on each other, rising higher, getting richer. Everybody’s happy when they get what they want.
The war of words continues to escalate between public broadcasters and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). German broadcaster ARD is the most recent public broadcaster to vent frustration at rights fees it says it cannot stomach. The IOC says the broadcasters’ complaint is tantamount to blackmail. Both side seem to be talking past each other.
The International Olympic Committee is meeting this week for the official debriefing on the Beijing Olympic Games. The main topic of conversation is money, likely the only topic; how to get and keep more. That means keeping the media under control.
Everybody loves huge sports deals. Sports leagues and franchise holders love television, probably more than anything… after money. But mix big sports with big TV and, well, other things happen. You need plan B.
Football matches are events made-for-TV. Broadcasters bid against each other for rights virtually assured of the advertising and audience bonus. For this summers’ Euro 2008 championships Polsat bought all rights freezing out public broadcaster TVP.
For broadcasters and telecoms to ad agencies and sponsors, sport is, again, the best hope for a brighter (financial) day. Africa’s Cup of Nations football tournament opened this past weekend to an expected audience of one billion. By years’ end sports programming will enrich many; certainly those who place the right bet.
See also in ftm Knowledge
The Games People Watch
Media and sports are a powerful combination. Together they capture huge audiences and considerable money. This ftm Knowledge file looks at the competition from football rights battles and cycling coverage with new media to the Olympic Games. 60 pages PDF (September 2009)
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