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Disney inks deal with MLB and LaLiga to ESPN+ as streaming revenue slows

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Disney is expanding its presence in the wide world of sports.

Disney has signed on a new seven-year agreement with Major League Baseball and an eight-year pact with Spain’s LaLiga soccer league.

This is latest in a series of sports-programming deals by the entertainment giant of the world.

It’s already the parent of ESPN and now set to broadcast 30 regular MLB games per season.

The soccer deal gives ESPN+ rights to the English and Spanish-language coverage of LaLiga.

It’s all part of ESPN sports-rights renewal binge that’s been happening this year.

Is this a bid to boost subscribers to Disney affiliated networks? The two sports deals represent a big financial commitment. 

“ESPN’s longstanding relationship with Major League Baseball has been a driver of innovation for three decades,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

“This agreement solidifies baseball’s ubiquitous presence across ESPN platforms, including ESPN+.”

According to Bloomberg, Disney will pay $175 million a year for soccer, according to a person familiar with the matter, which would be more than the Premier League’s deal with Comcast Corp.’s NBC.

“For the baseball deal, the sports news site the Athletic reported earlier this year that Disney could be paying as much as $150 million a year less for the package,” Bloomberg said.

It previously had an eight-year deal worth $5.8 billion for considerably more games.

This follows Walt Disney Co missing analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue.

The slump is being blamed on a decrease in new subscribers to Dinsey Plus and operations at its theme parks remaining restricted.

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Body behind Eurovision “understands the disappointment” over next host city

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Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision contest in May, capturing the hearts of the world

After taking out the win, that would mean Ukraine would host the competition next year.

But the European Broadcasting Union announced last week it could not be held in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

The body behind Eurovision now says it “understands the disappointment” over its decision not to hold next year’s song contest in Ukraine.

The EBU said it was in talks with the BBC to host the contest in the UK.

That’s because British entrant Sam Ryder came second in this year’s contest with his single Spaceman.

The announcement was met with disappointment by Ukrainians but the E-B-U doubled down on its position, saying in a statement that it “fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement”.

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First look – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official portrait together

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Today is a historic milestone for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they have viewed the first official joint portrait of themselves

On a visit to Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, the portrait was unveiled to the future king and queen consort.

The portrait, painted by award-winning British portrait artist Jamie Coreth, has gone on display at the University of Cambridge.

When William saw the work of art he immediately said ‘It’s quite big’

The artwork of Prince William and Catherine was commissioned last year by the Cambridgeshire Royal Portrait Fund as a gift to the people of the county.

The artist said he wanted to portray the royal couple as “relaxed and approachable”

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Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall reportedly split

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Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and actress Jerry Hall are reportedly getting a divorce

Murdoch and Hall tied the knot at a mansion in central London in 2016.

The divorce would be a fourth for Murdoch, who is aged 91. Hall, 65, was previously married to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

According to The New York Times, the split comes as a surprise to those close who are to the family.

At the time of his marriage, the billionaire said he was “the luckiest and happiest man in world”.

Murdoch owns the News Corporation empire, which controls major media outlets across the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

In 2018, his eldest son Lachlan was named as his successor. Murdoch has also sold most of 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Company.

Neither Murdoch nor Hall have commented on the matter.

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