Each week we take a look at the world of the Irish and international sports media, the stories, the numbers and the organisations that are, more than ever before, our window on the world of sport…
CIRCLE K SIGNS ON FOR RTÉ OLYMPICS
The big media story in Ireland this week was that Circle K is to be the exclusive sponsor of RTÉ’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games across television, online and mobile.
The partnership was announced on Thursday morning and doubles down on the brand’s partnership with the Olympic Federation of Ireland.
As the official sponsor, Circle K will feature prominently in all RTÉ Olympic programming, including live and catch-up coverage on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player and RTÉ.ie.
The 2021 edition of the Olympic Games will be the first time that RTÉ will broadcast coverage directly from the host city. RTÉ Sport’s Evanne Ní Chuilinn will present from Tokyo with a team of reporters covering the Irish story on the ground.
VIRGIN REVEAL WINNING NUMBERS FOR SPORT
A peak viewing figure of 507,400 people tuned into Virgin Media One last Saturday to watch Rachael Blackmore make history by becoming the first woman to ride the winner of the Randox Aintree Grand National.
That consolidated strong viewing figures across a number of key sporting properties on the station revealed on Monday.
It set a record for its share of the TV audience on Super Saturday of March 20th, the scheduled final day of the Guinness Six Nations.
41.7 per cent of the highly prized 15-44 audience were watching at some point during that day.
The biggest viewing figure for a single game was the 798,400 average audience for Ireland’s narrow defeat to France on February 14th. The figure for that match in 2020, played at the end of October was 50,000 higher but the overall audience throughout the tournament was up by 22 per cent.
ESPN BREAKS NEW GROUND IN BETTING
Given the amount of reference to betting and odds that we are used to in sports broadcasting here, it will be less surprising than it might have been to tune in to last night’s ESPN betting-focused broadcast of the NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76’ers.
A 15-minute preview show focused on predictions and the best bets was followed through with betting specific data and commentary through the game.
This alternate was shown on ESPN2 while the main ESPN channel featured a more traditional focus on the actual game.
As Europe begins to get more careful about allowing a greater link between sport and betting, the US is going in a completely opposite direction with more and more states now allowing and encouraging sporting bodies to get involved with betting and gaming partners.
SERENA SIGNS TO AMAZON STUDIOS
Serena Williams has signed a deal with Amazon to create a docuseries on her life as well as for the development of different projects.
The series has already been greenlighted with a production team appointed and is one that will likely rival the attention around Michael Jordan’s series from 2020.
“Serena has transformed her sport and become one of the most inspiring athletes, entrepreneurs and women of her generation, admired not only for her unmatched prowess on the court but for her dedication to advocacy as well,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, speaking to Variety Magazine in the US.
“We’re incredibly excited to share her journey in this new series, and to work with her to create new original content for our Prime Video customers worldwide.”
PODCAST OF THE WEEK
We like to listen to podcasts and each week we will bring you news of one that caught our ear.
This week’s offering comes from Doireann Garrihy’s The Laughs of Your Life Series. The presenter reached out to Rachael Blackmore after her Cheltenham success and recorded the podcast to drop just on the eve of her Grand National triumph.
It gives an insight inter her life and what makes her laugh away from the track. From talking about her ability to switch off, her love of Will Ferrell in Stepbrothers and her younger sister precariously holding her first communion shoes over the toilet, it’s a diverting half an hour.
Sport for Business Partners