As a record number of folks watched Super Bowl XLVIII on TV yesterday, an average of 528,000 per minute live streamed the game on Fox Sports. That makes the Seahawks’ pummeling of the Broncos the most-viewed live stream …
Fox Sports has re-upped its exclusive media rights in the U.S. and Caribbean to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League for three additional seasons from 2015-16 through 2017-18, the network said today. FOX Sports has been the English and Spanish language rights holder in the U.S. and Caribbean for the Champions League since the 2009-10 season and Europa League since 2012-13. The new agreement with UEFA ensures coverage of both tournaments on multiple channels and platforms including FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports Regional Networks and FOX Soccer Plus.
From today’s announcement:
Going on three months after the ballyhooed launch of Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports has solidified its management team. David Nathanson has been upped to the newly created post of General Manager and COO at Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, and Bill Wanger has added Content Strategy to his title as EVP Programming and Research at Fox Sports. Three others also are moving up. Here’s the release:
Los Angeles – In a reorganization of FOX Sports’ executive management structure, veteran executives David Nathanson and Bill Wanger have assumed new responsibilities, effective immediately. Nathanson has been appointed General Manager & Chief Operating Officer, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, a newly created position, while Wanger, FOX Sports’ Executive Vice President, Programming & Research is now Executive Vice President, Programming, Research & Content Strategy. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports President, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Producer Eric Shanks, to whom both Nathanson and Wanger report.
Reporting to Nathanson, as the senior management team guiding both national sports channels, are 19-year FOX Sports veterans Scott Ackerson, who becomes Executive Vice President, News; George Greenberg, whose title is now Executive Vice President, Content Integration & Presentation; and Michael Bloom, who remains FOX Sports’ Senior Vice President, Original Programming.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Susanne Bier’s ‘A Second Chance’ Adds Three; Fox Sports 2 Coming To Italy; More
Three Added To Cast Of Susanne Bier’s ‘A Second Chance’
Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie and Ulrich Thomsen have joined the cast of Susanne Bier’s A Second Chance. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stars in the film, which focuses on how far decent human beings are willing to go when tragedy blurs the line between the just and unjust. Shooting is underway in Denmark. Lie Kaas stars in the current No. 1 film at the Danish box office, The Keeper Of Lost Causes. He’s next up in Child 44. Thomsen, from Cinemax’s Banshee, has previously worked with Bier in Brothers and A Better World. Swedish-Norwegian actress Maria Bonnevie’s recently starred in Belle Du Seigneur with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Marianne Faithful. TrustNordisk kicked off international sales on the Danish-language A Second Chance during the AFM.
With the popularity of global soccer increasing in the States, and as next summer’s World Cup in Brazil approaches, 21st Century Fox is adding to its international rights portfolio. The group has partnered with the Deutsche …
The 2022 soccer World Cup is to be played in Qatar beginning in June that year and FIFA is discussing a proposal to shift the games due to extremely high temperatures — as much as 122° Fahrenheit — that …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Fox Sports Challenging World Cup Date?; Jailed Filmmaker In Hunger Strike In Egypt; More
Fox Sports Opposes Proposed Move Of 2022 World Cup Dates
Fox Sports is reportedly balking at a potential move by World Cup soccer governing body FIFA to switch the dates of the 2022 championships in Qatar. Fox paid a record $425M for U.S. broadcast rights to the 2018-2022 World Cup package and, according to Bloomberg sources, is concerned that moving the competition would clash with NFL games. FIFA is discussing a proposal to shift the Qatar games due to extremely high temperatures — as much as 122° Fahrenheit — in the Qatari summer that could adversely affect players. “FIFA has informed us that they are considering and voting on moving the 2022 World Cup,” Fox said in a statement to Bloomberg. “Fox Sports bought the World Cup rights with the understanding they would be in the summer as they have been since the 1930s.” FIFA responded, “The matter of the timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be discussed in various ad hoc committees as well as the FIFA Executive Committee, and until these meetings have taken place, FIFA is in no position to make any further comments.” Fox is not alone in its concerns. The English Premier League also opposes a date change since it would force changes to European soccer timetables as the national World Cup teams are made up of players who, in many cases, make their daily living with clubs outside their home countries.
Jailed Canadian Filmmaker And Colleague Begin Hunger Strike
Canadian filmmaker John Greyson, and Tarek Loubani, who have been held without charges in a Cairo jail for more than a month, have informed friends and supporters through their Egyptian lawyers that they have begun a hunger strike. Greyson and Loubani were en route to Gaza when they stopped to ask directions from Egyptian police and were jailed. According to new emergency measures put in place in Egypt. Greyson and Loubani’s detention could be extended up to two years without formal charges.
Read the entire lawsuit here. The plaintiff Jerry Davis alleges in a lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court that the Fox Sports Corporate Group currently employs 34 executives above the VP level – and not one …
The Fox Sports baseball analyst and announcer announced today that this October’s 2013 World Series will be his last. A former all-star MLB catcher, McCarver won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals before …
News Corp has made it official. Its national cable sports channel will kick off this summer with “nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news ad original programming annually.” By taking over the Speed channel, it will reach about 90M homes which the company says makes it “the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever.” At the start the schedule will include college basketball and football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC. In 2014 it will add Major League Baseball with 26 regular season games on Saturdays, select League Championship Series and Division Series games, and a live game-in-progress look-in show. FS1 plans a morning newscast to begin in January. Regis Philbin will host Rush Hour (weeknights from 5-6:00 PM ET), which will include a panel of regulars and guests. It will be followed by Fox Football Daily (daily 6-7:00 PM ET), described as an “extension of Fox NFL Sunday.” The network will air Fox Football Daily with news, interviews and commentary about pro and collegiate football. It also will challenge ESPN at 11:00 PM ET with a nightly talk show. Sports events will include a “double box” commercial format matching ads with programming designed to keep viewers engaged. The company also will introduce Fox Sports GO, a digital platform that will offer news, stats and analysis — as well as more than 1,000 live games and events — on the Internet and to Apple and Android devices. The live games will be available to pay TV subscribers.
What News Corp COO Chase Carey recently called the “world’s worst kept secret” – Fox’s still-unannounced plans to turn its Speed channel into a national general sports network called Fox Sports 1 — just became a little …
UPDATE: Not so fast. The deal didn’t get done and now Time Warner Cable is hot and heavy into the negotiating mix. Fox is pissed, to say the least.
EXCLUSIVE: It seems strangely logical that the highest-priced sports team in the world is about to score the richest TV deal ever in pro sports history. Insiders tell me that Fox Sports is close to clinching the exclusive TV rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers by paying between $6 billion and $7 billion over 25 years to put the team on its regional sports network in Southern California and of course its national Fox Broadcasting Company. Fox already shows the games on its Prime Ticket local cable channel but also has Fox Sports West here.
The previous agreement expires at the end of next season, and saw Fox Sports paying only about $40 million per season for the Dodgers TV rights. There was speculation the final price would just go north of $150 million per season. This new deal soars to $280 million per season (the average for the life of the contract). The huge outlay by News Corp demonstrates the increasing value of sports to its bottom line, while the huge payday for Guggenheim offsets the record-setting $2.15 billion price paid for the Dodgers.
But the sheer greed of Guggenheim’s ask on this new deal is staggering, especially when you consider it will all get passed down to the cable systems, advertisers, and ultimately consumers. The alternative for Guggenheim included higher ticket prices which would serve to only further alienate fans. Plus the new owners claim to need the money to bribe talented players to come to the mediocre Dodgers. And then there’s the sad fact that Major League Baseball teams are shifting from broadcast TV to cable networks – so fewer games will be available on free TV. Fox Sports expects to broadcast only one or two Major League Baseball games a week for the national audience next season.
Guggenheim and Fox Sports began preliminary talks in May. Then Fox Sports Media Group Co-President/COO Randy Freer enjoyed a 45-day exclusive negotiating window with Guggenheim Baseball Management’s Todd Boehly, the president of private equity firm Guggenheim Partners who was negotiating solo for the Dodgers owners. (Those owners also include former Los Angeles Lakers star turned mega-investor Magic Johnson, former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten and Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber.) Those talks began October 15th and are set to expire on November 30th. My insiders think, barring any unforeseen obstacles, the Fox-Dodgers deal could clinch by Tuesday. If it doesn’t get done by the 30th deadline, Boehly will have blown the negotiations bigtime.
I’m told a deal came “very close” to being done about a week ago “and then it went a little bit south”. To rattle Guggenheim’s cages, Fox Sports delivered an ultimatum that a deal had to be done by the end of this month or else it would stop negotiating. (Terms like “It’s dead” and “We’re out” were used.) The Fox Sports gambit worked. Because it would have left Guggenheim in a terrible situation without multiple bidders and with little leverage for next-in-line Time Warner Cable since CBS, Comcast/NBC, ABC/ESPN and even the MSG Network (controlled by the owners of Cablevision) never materialized. Of course, Guggenheim could have opted for the Dodgers to start its own network, as the Mets and Yankees have done. But big rewards come with big risks.
Also, in the middle of the run-up to negotiations in early October, Guggenheim’s Boehly bought Dick Clark Productions and put on the table a “programming element” involving Fox Broadcasting Network and DCP. Specifically, it called for DCP to have “more inventory” i.e. more shows airing on Fox Networks, sources tell me. I’m told the provision has been “in and out and in” the deal over recent weeks but appears to be ‘in’ right now.
Freer really knows this business – he ran the Fox regional sports networks for nearly half a decade - and knows not to overpay. He’s not when you consider that the Dodgers will play 162 games when the season starts in April. And yet TV rights to the Lakers who play 82 games just sold to Time Warner Cable for $3B over 20 years. And Fox just paid $3B for 49% of the YES Network which owns TV rights to the New York Yankees for 20 years.