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Telefónica bags motoring pay TV rights; Orange Spain, Fox ink content deal

In this monthly southern Europe video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other video initiatives in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.

TOP NEWS

* Telefónica SA's pay TV platform Movistar secured exclusive rights to broadcast Formula One and MotoGP races, after Vodafone Group Plc unit Vodafone España SAU's decision to drop the rights, Advanced Television reported March 13. Movistar has launched two channels dedicated to the events.

* Orange SA unit Orange España is adding about 100 movies to its video club under a content deal with 21st Century Fox Inc. unit Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc., Telecompaper reported March 6. The movies include recent films, such as "Murder on the Orient Express," "The Greatest Showman" and "Ferdinand," as well as classic franchises from Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

OTHER NEWS

* Mediapro has also been chosen as the media partner of Spanish soccer associations La Liga and Real Federación Española de Fútbol for implementing the video assistant referee, Rapid TV News reported March 17. The system is anticipated to be fully operational for the 2018-2019 season, given that it gets approval from the International Football Association Board.

* Mediapro announced March 12 its team-up with La Liga to produce sports docuseries "Six Dreams" for Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Prime Video. The production will focus on six La Liga personalities and their journey through the 2017-2018 season. Mediapro also produced "Edha," a 13-episode drama series that will premiere March 16 on Netflix Inc.

* World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. struck a deal to air weekly WWE highlight programs on Spanish free-to-air sports channel GOL, Advanced Television reported March 9. The deal involves episodes of WWE shows "Bottom Line," "Afterburn" and "Experience," which can also be watched on GOL's TV Everywhere and seven-day catchup services.

* Italian satellite TV provider Tivusat has added free-to-air movie channel Cine Sony in its lineup and is also anticipated to add Italian football-focused news and talk show channel Top Calcio 24 HD in the coming days, Advanced Television reported March 7. Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television Networks operates Cine Sony.

* Mediaset SpA is targeting to launch two free-to-air channels this year, Advanced Television reported Feb. 23. Focus, a Discovery Italia Srl-distributed entertainment factual channel, and 20, a channel that will consist of movies and TV series, is anticipated to be available via the Tivusat direct-to-home platform. Discovery Italia is a unit of Discovery Communications Inc.

* MásMóvil Ibercom SA and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are preparing for the rollout of their joint pay TV offer, in partnership with TV content company Agile Content SA, Advanced Television reported Feb. 22. Huawei will provide an Android set-top box with content from Sky plc and Atresmedia for a monthly fee.