The latest happenings from around the world of sports

Pioneer to launch sports-themed ad campaign for HD plasma displays

Hoping to capitalize on the belief that sports programming will drive HD viewership worldwide, Pioneer Electronics has announced that its fall ad campaign will focus on its high-definition PureVision plasma display monitors.

The campaign will center on sports themes, including horse racing, surfing, motorcar racing and snowboarding, and will include buys during various sporting events, including Sunday and Monday Night football. Additionally, Pioneer was named the title sponsor of the 2004 NCAA Las Vegas Bowl game as a result of strategic media buys with ABC and ESPN.

Production Resource Group names Tesh general manager of California operations

Production Resource Group (PRG) has named Susan Tesh general manager of the company’s California operations.

The appointment of Tesh comes as PRG progresses with integration activities following the completion of its merger last month with VLPS Lighting Services International. Tesh has been credited with developing the premier service model for lighting technology. She and her team have provided this service to some of the world's biggest events, including the 2004 Athens Olympic Ceremonies, World Music Awards, NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show, Miss Universe, American Idol and the Academy Awards as well as worldwide concert tours such as the Rolling Stones and the Blue Man Group.

NBC viewers for Athens Olympics surpasses Sydney’s 17-day total

Through Aug. 24, day 11 of Olympic coverage, the networks of NBC have attracted 188 million total, unduplicated viewers.

For the 17 days of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney 185 million total viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The 188 million figure represents 68 percent of the U.S. population and an eight percent gain on Sydney's 174 million viewers through day 11. Athens is on pace to be the most-watched non-U.S. Games in history.

Carolina All-Access to deliver exclusive coverage of University of North Carolina sports

Carolina All-Access, a newly launched online subscription service being co-produced by, the official athletic site of the University of North Carolina, and SCTV’s will provide fans with exclusive audio and video content from every Tar Heel athletic team event.

The service will begin with the fall sports season by delivering audio coverage of “John Bunting Live” Aug. 26.

Other highlights to be offered on Carolina All-Access include live game audio for football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, live streaming video athletic press conferences and on-demand video of “Inside Carolina Football with John Bunting” and “Inside Carolina Basketball with Roy Williams.”

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EBU signs $746 million deal for Olympic broadcast rights

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has signed a $746 million contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the European broadcast rights to the Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the 2012 Summer Games.

The agreement, which excludes Italy, covers 51 countries. It provides for the broadcast rights as well as rights to emerging new media categories, such as multimedia rights and mobile telephony rights.

The $746 million contract is valued at about 40 percent higher than the existing contract.

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Time Warner, University of Texas launch VOD Longhorn channel

The University of Texas and Time Warner Cable announced the launch of Bevo-D, a new video-on-demand channel to feature 24-hour coverage of Longhorn Sports.

The channel, which is available to Time Warner Cable Digital subscribers in Austin, will include Longhorn Sports Center, coaches’ films, classic games, annual highlights and exclusive interviews. Bevo-D will cost $3.95 per month.

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