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Sportel: a springboard for sports programs cum meet.

Sportel: A Springboard For Sports Program Sales Cum Meet

Sports on television is becoming big business, as it crosses international borders profitably and at will.

So, it isn't surprising that the shape, direction and marketability of current sporting events on TV are being examined in detail, and with an eager eye to a cable and satellite-dominated future, at the second annual Sportel International Sports Television Market in Monte Carlo, October 3rd-6th.

As of press time (late August), 14 international sports federations from around the world will be in attendance at the expanding sports market, which is sponsored by the General Association of International Sports Federations and the Monaco principality. GAISF has a membership of 75, and the organization will speak for all those who are unable to make the trip.

Representation is expected to range widely, from the broadcast and cable networks to satellite systems, producers of sporting events, promoters, event organizers, licensing companies and marketers.

One of the highlights of Sportel 1991 will be the live transmission, in high definition TV, of the France-Romania rugby match at Montpelier on October 4th.

Also, the European Broadcast Union Sports Group is scheduled to hold it annual meetings during Sportel on October 1st-4th.

This year, Sportel features the first Golden Podium Competition Award, which is to be presented by Prince Albert of Monaco during the opening gala on October 3rd. The prize will go to the producer of the best slow-motion sports television sequences, as well as to the athletes involved.

The Award is split into two categories: isolated camera shots, and edited shots. There will be special recognition for the best slow-motion sequence shot in high-definition.

John Frankenheimer, the American director, will act as chairman of the jury, which starts screening contenders on September 29th.

A wide variety of executives active in televised sports is expected to attend Sportel which, last year, drew some 160 executives from five continents. U.S. participation will be stepped up. In addition to ABC, CBS, ESPN and Royal Communications International, who came last year, there will be representatives from Samuel Goldwyn, Turner Broadcasting, the World Sports Group and the National Basketball Association.

The stepped-up Sportel attendance is seen reflecting the increased internationalization of sports, which is bound to receive added impetus from the Olympics and the Soccer World Cup in 1992.

The symposium this year addresses the theme, Televised Sports Images - How to Improve Them. Prince Albert and Un Yong Kim, president of AGFIS, along with other sports dignitaries, will speak at the symposium.

Three other conferences to follow will deal with other topics: Sports which are best suited for television, what should be done to make some sports more attractive and watchable on television, and technical innovations planned for the Albertville and Barcelona '92 Olympic Games.

While American sports, like baseball and football, have made considerable inroads in various parts of the world, soccer -- the world's most popular and most widely televised international sport -- has lagged in the U.S., where audiences like to see fast action and high scores. There is also the question of commercials, which are resented in many parts of the world during an important game.

According to Roland Faure, president of the URTI, Sportel "will enable us to draw up a report and tackle the essential theme -- the common effort being made by TV channels and sports to show sporting events to a greater advantage on the small screen."

Sportel will present a retrospective audiovisual survey, along with a demonstration of the latest high definition TV production methods.

The opening Sportel gala at Loew's Hotel, including Prince Albert's presentation of the competition prizes, will be carried live on The European Sports Network on the night of October 3rd.
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Title Annotation:Sportel International Sports Television Market
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Sep 1, 1991
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