Media

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Punters see Grand National live online

The Racing Post streamed the Grand National live and free to users of its relaunched video website.

The website was sponsored by Betfair and carried extensive video feature material in the build-up to the race, including a horse-by-horse form guide, news bulletins and a tipsters' forum.

Content is derived from the Racing Post's news service and formdatabase, along with footage from its joint venture partner Racing UK,which manages the media rights for 30 UK racecourses, including Aintree.

Virgin Media to take Sky to High Court

Virgin Media is to carry out its threat of legal action against rival media network BSkyB following the withdrawal of basic channels including Sky Sports News from the former’s cable offering – a move BSkyB has warned will only strengthen its resolve.

Virgin Media’s claim that Sky has purposefully engaged in an anti-competitive strategy by restricting carriage of its channels will now be heard by the High Court unless a last minute renegotiation can be arranged.

Player One Sports wins Grand National rights

Content provider Player One Sports has acquired all the mobile rights for horse racing’s flagship event Grand National at Aintree for the next three years.

Player One Sports, a division of mobile content provider Player One, has created a Grand National mobile channel that will offer live streamed races, tips from TV pundit John McCririck, video from 10 classic past Nationals and a mobile game.

Setanta hires AOL's Ryan as marketing chief

Tim Ryan, the director of brand marketing at AOL, has been poached to become the first GB marketing director of sports broadcast network Setanta.

Ryan’s brief will be to exploit the increasing array of sports rights under Setanta’s control including the FA Cup and England internationals which the broadcaster controversially picked up last week in a joint deal with ITV.

Ryan, who is likely to be given a substantial marketing budget, has stated that his initial objective will be to add 1m subscribers to Setanta’s customer base.

SIA 2007: Wakeling picks up Lifetime Achievement Award

Sky Sports Managing Director Vic Wakeling was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sport Industry Awards 2007.

Wakeling received due recognition for his outstanding work for the broadcaster since its launch in April 1991, receiving his award from the network’s first ever presenter Richard Keys.

Wakeling started work in print journalism in the North and Midlands before moving to Fleet Street with The Observer, Daily Express, People and London Evening News. 

ITV names Rugby World Cup sponsors

ITV has unveiled EDF Energy and Peugeot as joint broadcast sponsors of the network’s coverage of the IRB Rugby World Cup 2007.

EDF Energy and Peugeot, both worldwide sponsorship partners of the Rugby World Cup, will be ITV’s exclusive joint broadcast, online and for the first time interactive sponsors.

The fully integrated package includes sponsorship of all live coverage and tournament highlights across ITV’s channels. The deal also includes exclusive sponsorship of ITV’s Rugby World Cup website and branding on all marketing.

ICC takes action against YouTube

The International Cricket Council has ordered its online rights protection agency NetResult to instruct video-sharing website YouTube to remove all clips of the Cricket World Cup under the charge of copyright infringement.

ICC Development, the governing body’s commercial arm and World Cup rights holder Global Cricket Corporation believe that YouTube is infringing the rights of the tournament broadcast and sponsorship partners by screening action clips on its website.

BBC faces long-term threat to Olympic TV deal

The BBC’s stranglehold on the TV rights to the Olympic Games could be under threat as the International Olympic Committee gave a major hint that it would consider the claims of other broadcasters for the contract after the London 2012 Games.

The BBC currently holds the TV rights to the Olympic Games running through until London 2012 after striking a long-term deal with the IOC in 2004. 

Virgin Media eyeing sports news channel launch

Speculation is mounting that Virgin Media and Setanta Sports are in discussions regarding the launch of a 24 hour sports news channel to rival Sky Sports News.

The move follows the removal of Sky Sports News from the Virgin Media platform after carriage negotiations for Sky's basic channels between BSkyB and Virgin broke down.

Virgin Media has said it wants to build Virgin Sports as a separate brand and, with carriage of Sky’s sports offering no longer available, will need the help of a subsidiary party to bolster its content.

Honda signs up as ITV's F1 sponsor

Fresh from rebranding its race car as part of a campaign to promote green issues, Honda has signed up as the broadcast sponsor for ITV’s coverage of the upcoming F1 season.

It is thought that Honda will use its status as ITV’s broadcast sponsor for the new season to further leverage its new stance on promoting environmental concern.

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