Members of the Euroleague Commercial Assets Assembly met on Tuesday in Barcelona, Spain to review the previous season's results and to discuss the current season's activities and objectives. The meeting followed a previous one in which the Euroleague Commercial Assets Board approved for the assembly's consideration several recommendations and reports concerning, among other issues, new rules proposals, the corporate social responsibility program One Team, ticketing, television rights, new investments and budgets.
The assembly heard of the new rules proposals put forth by an expert panel convened at the first Euroleague Basketball Institute Technical Week: Basketball Rules Summit in the summer. The panel concluded that the game should be more spectacular, clean and fair. A number of proposals were approved, including:
- A wider court in order to increase the spacing for offensive players.
- Reducing the technical foul penalty to one free throw and possession.
- Disqualifying any player charged with two technical fouls.
- Resetting the twenty-four second shot clock to fourteen seconds after an offensive rebound instead of twenty-four seconds.
- Replacing one sixty second timeout in each half with one twenty second timeout, limiting the number of timeouts to a maximum of two per team in the last two minutes of the fourth period.
- Re-introducing the jump ball for all alternating possession situations, with the team winning the opening jump ball getting possession to start the fourth period, the team losing the opening jump ball getting possession to start the second and third periods, using a jump ball to start every extra period.
The rule proposals will be sent to the FIBA World Technical Commission for discussion at their next meeting in January 2013.
The assembly reviewed the growth of the Euroleague Basketball corporate social responsibility program, One Team, from eight founding teams to 15 this season. A presentation was made on the just-completed One Team Workshop. In the area of communications, Euroleague Basketball encouraged clubs to align strategies and platforms, with special emphasis on interaction with fans though social media so as to maximize the fan experience. The assembly members were also able to test the new Euroleague application for mobile phones and tablets.
Members discussed the increased difficulty of the ongoing economic scenario on television results, sponsorship agreements and in-arena attendance, agreeing on the need to work together to overcome these difficulties. Euroleague continues to encourage clubs to participate in the ticketing program, aimed at developing strong strategies for the sale of game tickets. Euroleague executives emphasized the need for clubs to achieve more balanced budgets by increasing the revenues derived from ticket sales, reaching an ideal balance between 30 and 40% of total revenues. On the subject of television, the assembly was updated on negotiations for Turkish Airlines Euroleague rights in markets including Spain (Real Madrid), the United Kingdom and the Asia/Pacific region, as well as a renewed agreement on Eurocup rights with Eurosport that permits clubs to retain rights for both home and away games.
A financial review of the 2011-12 season included a small increase in the expected closing numbers as previously presented in the 2008 business plan, indicating that the competition is still meeting its five-year goals. The previous season's revenues were 12% above the 2008 projections and allowed for a distribution of 16.7 million euros and a gross benefit of 1.4 million. The 2012-13 budget proposal included a reduction in expenses to make up for an expected decrease in television rights income in a reduced number of markets. The assembly also reviewed results on recent investments in content production, sponsorship activation, new markets and the Game of the Week, all of which are expected to break even or make profits.
On the subject of new markets, a proposed strategy to invest in the United Kingdom was presented that seeks to grow the Euroleague Basketball fan base there, to deliver a world class basketball events, to source local partners, to increase media presence, to introduce the CSR program One Team and, finally, to seek a competitive UK-based team for Euroleague Basketball competition. Plans were shown for the Turkish Airlines Final Four fan zone that will take place over the Final Four weekend at Trafalgar Square in London from May 10 to 12.
Finally, members reviewed the new World Calendar Competition Formats that FIBA approved recently. While agreeing that having national teams play official games locally was a positive move, the assembly expressed disagreement with the timing of those games as they would interrupt the clubs' competition calendar. They also voiced concern that the expanded national team calendar would not include all of the world's best players and would not allow for athletes to rest.
Finally members approved the re-election of the Shareholders Executive Board Members who are the Adriatic League (Adriatic region), Basketball Bundesliga (Germany), Lega Societa de Pallacanestro (Italy), Ligue National de Basketball (France), Anadolu Efes Sports Club (Turkey), CSKA Professional Basketball Club (Russia), FC Barcelona (Spain), Gdynski Klub Koszykowki Arka (Poland), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel), Mens Sana (Italy), Olympiacos (Greece), Saski Baskonia (Spain) and Jordi Bertomeu as Chairman. They also ratified the appointments to disciplinary bodies including disciplinary Judge Mr. Patrick Gradjean (Switzerland) and the appeal panel consisting of Mr. Luigi Fumagalli (Italy and President of the Panel and Appeals Judge), Mr. Andrea Fioravanti (Switzerland) and Mr. José Manuel Martins Meirim da Silva (Portugal). Members present also agreed on the continuance of the governance of the company according to the Euroleague Licensing Rules and an increase in the share capital of the company.