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Trinity Mirror puts Racing Post up for sale

Publishing giant Trinity Mirror has surprisingly announced it is to sell off horse racing title The Racing Post as part of a restructure that will see it concentrate on its key national and regional publications.

The Racing Post, along with 138 regional titles in London, the South East and the Midlands including its sports division, will allow Trinity Mirror to make cost savings of close to £20m.

Wakeling gets Sky News in restructure

Vic Wakeling, managing director of Sky Sports, is to add responsibility for Sky News to his role following the announcement that Dawn Airey, managing director of channels and services, is leaving the broadcaster.

The departure of Airey, who has been pivotal in Sky’s success since joining the firm in 2003, has prompted a reshuffle of the management team with Wakeling being the chief beneficiary.

The new alignment of sport and news alongside each other under Wakeling gives him control over Sky’s two primary programming outlets.

Setanta wins funding for rights drive

Big spending pay-TV operator Setanta is set for further sports rights acquisitions after securing £213m in investor funding to drive the continued expansion of its operations.

The new financing has been put together with a view to making further aggressive moves into the UK market where it is looking to challenge Sky’s long-held dominance of pay-TV sports coverage.

ICC strikes lucrative TV rights contract

The ICC has received a major financial boost after agreeing a new global TV rights deal with ESPN-Star Sports for the next two Cricket World Cups that is reportedly worth double that of the previous contract.

ESPN-Star Sports is believed to have agreed to pay $1.1bn (£563m) to become the International Cricket Council's global media and production partner for the next two Cricket World Cups and 16 other tournaments from 2007 to 2015.

BLM wins Setanta media buying account

Pay-TV broadcaster Setanta Sports has appointed BLM Media to handle all the network’s media planning and buying activities.

Independent agency BLM was appointed to handle the activity full-time after advising Setanta on its advertising sales strategy during an ad hoc consultancy project.

Setanta appointed BLM without going through a formal pitch process and no other agencies were contacted about the brief.

Five commits to A1GP highlights

A1 Grand Prix has expanded the UK television coverage of its World Cup of Motorsport franchise after agreeing a highlights package with Five.

Sky Sports' live race coverage of A1GP will now be supported by a highlights package with commercial terrestrial broadcaster Five, scheduled to be shown mid-week after each event. The new deal means that over 90% of UK households can now view the series.

Setanta Golf wins RBS sponsorship deal

The Royal Bank of Scotland has signed a deal to sponsor the live coverage on Setanta Sports' new dedicated golf TV channel – Setanta Golf – including action from the PGA Tour.

As part of the six-figure deal, RBS-branded 10-second idents will be produced by Interactive Digital Sales to run in all the ad breaks within live coverage.

A series of RBS-sponsored programmes featuring golfing legend and RBS ambassador Jack Nicklaus will also be broadcast on the channel, which debuts on January 8 in line with the new season.

ICC bans World Cup internet coverage

The International Cricket Council has opted for a widespread ban on over-by-over internet coverage of next year’s World Cup in order to protect the value of the official new media rights sold for the tournament.

Many news organisations have built up substantial online audiences through over-by-over coverage but the ICC has decided that only broadcasters holding the ICC’s official internet rights package will be able to publish such content.

BT strikes FAPL deal with Setanta

BT has struck a deal with pay-TV broadcaster Setanta that will see the telecoms giant broadcast live FA Premier League football through its new BT Vision multimedia service.

The agreement with Setanta, which holds live TV rights to 46 Barclays Premiership matches from the start of next season, follows on from BT’s deal with the league itself which allows it to show a number of games on a nearly live basis.

According to BT, the combination of the two deals will allow its service to give customers access to 75% of the 2007/2008 season's Premiership matches.

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