Sports Ticker (2 November 2022) – McLaren's advertising partnership, Yupp TV T20 rights and European Super League claim – a speed-read of commercial updates from the sports world

Published on 02 November 2022

In a fortnight which saw 29 football clubs urge the Government to “save football” with plans for an independent regulator, and Red Bull entering an Accepted Breach Agreement after exceeding the $145m budget cap in 2021 (leaving Mercedes, Ferrari and others reportedly upset with the sanctions), we feature updates on McLaren's digital advertising partnership and YuppTV's exclusive broadcast rights for the ICC T20 World Cup. We also look at the claim being reportedly brought by some of the European Super League clubs against UEFA and FIFA, and Apple's interest in the ATP and WTA tours.

As always, if there are any issues on which you'd like more information (or if you have any questions or feedback), please do let us know or get in touch with your usual contact at RPC.

Racing to a deal – McLaren's pioneering advertisement partnership

McLaren Racing has announced a new multi-year partnership with Seamless Digital, with the aim of bringing pioneering digital advertisement to F1 cars. By placing a two-display system around the cockpit on the MCL36 cars, McLaren will be able to dynamically change its brands on both cars across the race weekend. This will allow advertisers to provide content that is specific to location, time and audience. The new technology was debuted at the US Grand Prix, showing a glimpse into the future of F1 (and broader) digital advertising, creating more opportunities for dynamic experiences between connected fans and advertisers. As part of the deal, McLaren Racing has options to explore the technology for its wider racing portfolio. Mark Turner, CEO of Seamless Digital declared that motorsports are just a starting point as they are looking to break into advertising in golf and various US Sports.

Will Apple net tennis broadcasting rights?

Apple TV+ is reported to be considering bidding for UK broadcasting rights to the ATP and WTA tennis tours. Apple already has deals with Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball and is the running for the NFL's Sunday Ticket in the US. Rights for the ATP and WTA Tours could generate between £10 million to £20 million per annum and would symbolise a major move by Apple into the European market. The move comes after Amazon decided not to renew Prime's agreements for the competitions. The decision is reported to be, in part, influenced by Amazon's recent expenditure on other high profile UK sports competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League, Premier League and rugby union's Autumn Nations League.

European Super League claim against UEFA and FIFA

Some of the clubs behind the European Super League are reportedly bringing a claim against UEFA and FIFA for breach of EU competition law. The claim is brought on the allegation that the governing bodies have used their “monopoly” to block the creation of competing leagues. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus are the clubs currently party to the action. The claims have courted controversy with several European governments who have stated that they will defend the European model of sport. FIFA has also been in the news separately this fortnight, after it challenged broadcasters to offer better value for the TV rights to the 2023 Women's World Cup. FIFA's chief partnerships and media officer noted the “lack of willingness of broadcasters to pay what the women's game deserves”. So far, broadcasters' offers from Germany France, UK and Italy have been rejected.

 What a catch! YuppTV bags T20 World Cup rights in 75 countries

One of South Asia's biggest internet TV providers, YuppTV, has secured exclusive rights to broadcast the 8th ICC T20 World Cup across several key international territories. The cricket tournament is set to be held in Australia and scheduled to last from 16 October 2022 to 13 November 2022. The broadcasting rights cover Continental Europe and some of Asia's largest countries, excluding Singapore. The live streaming broadcasting rights in other major markets such as India are currently held by Disney and Hotstar and reportedly reached an estimated 18 million viewers during the nail-biting game between India and Pakistan last Sunday. This deal builds upon YuppTV's existing T20 broadcasting rights, including rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Courting success – NBA opening night triumph

The NBA 2022/23 season has commenced. The opening night received the highest TV audience in five years, a 17% increase on the 2021/22 season. The Philadelphia 76ers played the Boston Celtics in the opening game and the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors on the same night. Both games were televised on Warner Bros Discovery's network TNT. An average of 2.98 million viewers watched the opener, up 36% on the viewing figure for the opening game last season. The Lakers-Warriors game averaged 3.55 million viewers, up 4% on the same fixture last year. Video content on the NBA social media channels and NBA App generated 148 million views: a 200% increase on 2021 and a record for opening night views on these platforms. Finally, the NBA's entertainment arm is teaming up with Fulwell 73 Productions, which brought us sports documentaries "I Am Bolt" and "The Class of '92", to produce a ten-part docuseries following the 2023 playoffs.

Extra time...

...Would-be sports stars everywhere will rejoice at the news that hamstring injuries may now be avoidable, following developments in AI. Orreco data collecting has posted results that show that they can accurately predict the likelihood of a player suffering a hamstring injury in elite male footballers with an 85% accuracy. It says that it is in the process of producing similar reports for female players. The system considers inputs such as biomechanical analysis from video, player training data, game data, and biographical information. Hamstring injuries have long been a major thorn in the sides of players and teams alike, with reports saying that across major European football leagues they accounted for nearly $100 million in lost salary.