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Terrestrial TV chasing Heineken Cup

Mark Sharman, head of sport at ITV, revealed to the FT Sport Industry Summit that the broadcaster and its terrestrial counterpart the BBC have been lobbying to try and wrest some of rugby union’s Heineken Cup coverage away from Sky Sports.

‘Both ourselves and the BBC have been pitching for the Heineken Cup to be split between terrestrial and pay-TV broadcasters in a similar fashion to the way we share UEFA Champions League with Sky,’ Sharman disclosed.

Barwick: Fans will pay for TV football

Speaking in an exclusive one-on-one interview at today’s FT Sport Industry Summit, Brian Barwick, chief executive of the Football Association, has expressed his belief that the demand for televised football is such that it is a commodity that fans will pay to watch.

Addressing a packed room of the leading lights of the sport business industry, Barwick stated: ‘There’s no doubt that football is a massive draw in this country and as such there’s a massive demand for it as a television product. If the demand is there then there is an argument that fans will pay to watch it.’

Jump racing on the up

The Racecourse Holdings Trust (RHT), a subsidiary of The Jockey Club, has published a commercial review of jump racing ahead of the new season.

The report’s aim is to disprove the commonly-held view that jump racing is the poor cousin of its flat counterpart by highlighting the growth in this area of horse racing.

In assessing the 2005/06 season, the report underlines the rise in income from jump racing across all revenue streams from attendances and sponsorship to TV coverage and betting.

The Twitter World Cup

Records have been falling all over the pitch in the last few weeks of the FIFA World Cup – from Tim Howard’s 15-save goalkeeping masterclass against Belgium to the 136 group-stage goals – and social media is no different, with both Twitter and Facebook platforms both registering record numbers of interactions.

Facebook hosted a record one billion interactions for the first time in its 10-year history during this year's World Cup.

Space Age Glass Half Full

The tag 'space age' might be more than 50 years old, but it still conveys a sense of wondrous progress – hence the Daily Mail’s use in this report of German Burgos, the Atletico Madrid coach, becoming the first person to use Google Glass to receive live stats in a game last season. All La Liga teams will be using the technology as part of a new agreement – and with both Madrid teams reaching this year’s Champions League final, it's worth keeping an eye on what they're doing to stay ahead of the wider European crowd.

Nolan Partners #SIBC: Barbara Slater

Check out the highlights of BBC Director of Sport, Barbara Slater's turn at the Nolan Partners Sport Industry Breakfast Club - who explained that the introduction of BT into the sport rights field represented both ‘a threat and an opportunity’ to the BBC, with the possibility of collaborations and partnerships offset against more competition for top-class sport rights.


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