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…
SIX NATIONS SECURES DEAL WITH BBC AND ITV
Following on from its joint rights arrangement across all three tournaments with RTÉ and Virgin Media, Six Nations Rugby has now done the same in the UK with BBC and ITV.
It means the tournaments will remain fully free to air for the next four years and also that they will get maximum exposure across all the biggest audience free to air channels in both markets.
While in Ireland the deal runs down the middle of each tournament, In Britain there is a different mix.
ITV will show all of the home games played by England, Ireland, France and Italy in the men’s tournament, while the BBC will show the home games of Wales and Scotland.
The BBC though will have exclusive rights to the Women’s and U20 Championships with what is described as ‘unprecedented investment’ going into the Women’s in particular.
“For the millions of Six Nations fans across the UK, the Championships remaining free-to-air is wonderful news,” said BBC Director of Sport Barbara Slater.
“We look forward to delivering live action from both the Men’s and Women’s as well as the Men’s Under-20’s Championships to the widest possible audience over the next four seasons.”
“BBC Sport has led the way in increasing the profile of Women’s sports, so we are thrilled to now include the Women’s Six Nations as a permanent fixture on our broadcast calendar.”
“ITV is delighted to have reached this agreement, which extends free-to-air coverage of such an important tournament and will ensure it remains centre stage each spring,” added Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport.
“With the addition of France home games to those of England, Ireland and Italy, we look forward to bringing ITV viewers a wealth of superb rugby from the Six Nations in the coming years.”
DISNEY ACCELERATING MOVE TO STREAMING
The Walt Disney corporation has revealed that it plans to close down as many as 100 of its international cable TV offerings over the next twelve months as it moves more and more content towards its Disney + streaming offering.
The existing Disney+ offering includes all that you might expect from Disney’s catalogue of classic movies as well as everything in the Marvel and Star Wars Franchises.
ESPN+ has also been delivering more by way of the monthly subscription service and now the potential for moving its Asian facing sports business Hotstar, with its strong cricket offering, to online looks inevitable.
The latest deals with the NFL, NBA and NHL all include substantial streaming rights which will be exercised more over the course of the coming years.
It appears that making the delivery of service agnostic to the device you are watching it on is here in full, with mass market distribution driving down the unit cost and customers as well as sports and broadcasters benefitting in the long run.
JOIN US FOR STREAMING SPORT IN 2021
Our next Sport for Business Conference which will look in-depth at the world of Sports Streaming. This will take place now on the morning of Thursday, June 24th and places can be reserved now at the link below.
No single factor has emerged as a bigger opportunity for sport, and a bigger positive for fans than the growth of awareness of what streaming is capable of.
From professional leagues to local clubs, streaming technology has democratised the ability to deliver live sporting content to audiences at local and global level.
We will look under the covers of what the streaming revolution will mean for sporting bodies, sponsors, fans and media companies.
Each of the four conferences we have hosted this year has attracted strong audiences of hundreds of sporting and business leaders from across Ireland and around the world.
Sport for Business Streaming Sport in 2021 will be the same.
We will be announcing our lineup of subjects and speakers over the coming days but you can reserve your spot by registering at the link below.
PREMIER SPORTS SECURES TOP14 RIGHTS FOR IRELAND AND UK
Premier Sports which broadcasts here as part of the Sky Sports Extra platform has secured the UK and Ireland rights to the Top14 Rugby tournament in France.
With two teams qualifying for the final of the Heineken Champions Cup this season, and Ronan O’Gara leading the way at La Rochell, interest in the French domestic game has never been higher.
The contract starts immediately with coverage through to the Play-offs, semi-finals and Final on June 25th.
Premier Sports is an investor in digital platform SportsJoe which has the rights to clips and highlights from its output which should see another raising of the bar for that medium in terms of its sports coverage.