Sports Ticker (06 May 2022) - W Series, an independent football regulator and broadcasting battles – a speed-read of commercial updates from the sports world
In a fortnight which saw Tyson Fury retain the WBC title and vow to retire, we feature updates on the broadcasting agreement between Sky Sports and W Series, the Government's confirmation an independent football regulator will be introduced, a cricket NFT platform's impressive fundraising, and Channel 4's broadcasting rights for the next two seasons of England's men's football.
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Sky Sports has announced a three-year broadcasting partnership with W Series, the international motor racing championship for women. The partnership represents W Series' largest media investment to date and will include distribution of W Series content across Sky's channels, including linear, digital, and social. The 2022 Championship will include 10 races across eight Grand Prix weekends, beginning with a double-header in Miami on 6-8 May. Sky Sports will broadcast live coverage of every qualifying and race session. We look forward to tuning into the 2022 Championship shortly.
In the wake of a fan-led review of football governance and financial sustainability, an independent football regulator will be established to focus on specialist business regulation adapted to the football industry, to be operated via a licensing system. Clubs will have to adhere to specific licensing conditions to obtain and maintain their licence, including via a new 'owners’ and directors’ test', which will include an integrity test and require stronger investigations into a potential purchaser’s financial situation, including their source of funding. Key items of club heritage will also be protected through a 'Golden Share' requiring supporter consent to certain actions such as the stadium location, club colours, badge and name. Although the timeframe for implementation is currently unclear, the Government intends to publish further guidance on implementation of the proposals in a White Paper this Summer.
Cricket non-fungible-token (NFT) platform Rario has raised US$120million following its Series A fundraising round. The funding round was led by Dream Capital, the corporate venture capital and M&A arm of Dream Sports. Singapore-based Rario was founded in 2021 and currently has the largest share of cricket NFT rights globally through exclusive partnerships with 6 international cricket leagues and a roster of 900+ cricketers. It has sold more than 50,000 NFTs to sports fans, with the USA, UK, Australia and India its four largest markets. Dream Sports is India's leading sports technology company, which operates Dream11, the world's largest fantasy sports platform. Following Dream Capital's investment, Rario will get access to Dream Sports' 140 million users, who will be able to buy, sell and trade NFTs through FIAT-only mediums such as credit cards, debit cards and bank transfers (i.e. through regulated currencies and not through cryptocurrencies), with the potential to create the largest cricket NFT platform globally.
Channel 4 has secured the broadcasting rights for England men's football's next two seasons and will show 20 games across the two-year deal including UEFA Nations League games and qualifiers for Euro 2024. With England's Nations League games having previously been broadcast on Sky Sports, this will be the first time that the games will be shown on free-to-air-television. Excluded from the deal, however, is this year's World Cup, which is set to take place in Qatar in November, and which will instead be screened by the BBC and ITV. In the same week, Sky Sports has also lost out to Viaplay on a four-year deal for the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers, UEFA Euro 2028 qualifiers, UEFA Nations league matches as well as international friendlies. The arrangement will allow Viaplay, which is owned by the Nordic Entertainment Group, to show more than 800 international matches over the course of four-years and will also provide content for Viaplay's UK service which is due to launch later this year.
The chief executive of Volkswagen has revealed that Audi and Porsche will enter Formula 1 from the 2026 season, following approval from the company's board. The move comes in line with the introduction of new engine regulations, which state that the new engines will run on fully sustainable fuels and will increase the contribution of electrical power to 50% of the overall output of the engine. Porsche's preparations are said to be further along following reports of discussions with Red Bull Racing regarding a potential partnership on Red Bull's new engine division. Audi will likely come in as its own team, but could reportedly be looking to buy out an existing entrant.
…and finally, RPC is excited to be partnering with Sport Industry Group, the leading business network across the sports sector. Sport Industry Group brings together key influential figures from the British and international sporting landscape for world-class events and programmes, and also runs the illustrious Sport Industry NextGen programme for future leaders. As part of the collaboration, RPC will be the Official Partner for both the Sport Industry Awards and the Sport Industry NextGen. RPC will also be offering a clinic for the Sport Industry NextGen leaders, providing support and specialist commercial advice for the industry's future leaders.