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United front best way to negotiate sports rights, ABU members told

Working together is the best way for Asia-Pacific broadcasters to negotiate on increasingly expensive sports broadcast rights, members of the ABU’s Sport Group have been told.

Sport Group chairman Jiang Heping told a meeting in Vietnam that although some members preferred to go it alone, the ABU itself strived to get its members to participate in its sport pool, to present a stronger stand when negotiating with sporting bodies to acquire media rights.

He said the reality was that rights fees had kept increasing.

“The best solution is to form a united front,” he said during a special discussion on media rights acquisition, part of activities ahead of the ABU 2013 General Assembly from 28-29 October 2013 in Hanoi.

A Thai delegate said the current situation called for broadcasting stations to adapt by looking at delivery of sport events to audiences across all platforms to ensure that the investment made was viable.

He said broadcasters would not be able to survive if they stuck with the “old style of marketing”.

A New Zealand delegate agreed, saying splicing up content delivery based on different devices would be viable “as more and more people are now accessing content online”.

A Hong Kong delegate said marketing agencies seemed to look at what market a broadcaster was in and how competitive it was, with broadcasters in richer markets having to pay higher fees.

A Singapore delegate said her station had now made content delivery across all platforms.

She said apart from having to take into account national broadcasting interests, there was also the commercial interest a broadcaster had to contend with and there was money to be made by providing content across all platforms.