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Wolf Blass signs deal with Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News

Wolf Blass, one of Australia's premium producers, has just signed a six-figure deal with Sky News, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

The deal, brokered by media company UM London, is to sponsor Sportsline, Sky News‘ regular sports bulletin and will last 12 months from 11 September.

It allows the wine label to become associated with Sky’s coverage of major sporting events, will start in time for the Rugby World Cup, and will run throughout the London 2012 Olympics.

A series of short TV ads will air two to three times a day on Sky News.

Asked whether the ongoing phone hacking scandal and the negative publicity around companies which are part of News Corporation would have any effect on the longevity of the deal, UM’s creative director Phil Cresswell told Decanter.com that it was not an issue.

‘We had no problems at all dealing with Sky, and its ownership by News Corporation had no effect whatsover.

‘The deal was brokered months ago and is purely to do with the performance of Sky in its markets. There will be no renegotiation and the deal will certainly last the 12 months.’

Annabel Keech, Wolf Blass‘s senior brand manager, said: ‘This is an exciting partnership which bolsters our long-standing association with sport in a key sporting year.’

Since the phone hacking scandal, which involved journalists from UK Sunday newspaper the News of the World allegedly tapping the mobile phones of celebrities and others in the public eye such as murdered teenager Milly Dowler, took over the airwaves two weeks ago, major advertisers have pulled out of the Murdoch-owned paper.

These include 02, Boots, Virgin Media, Lloyds Banking Group, Specsavers, Mitsubishi, Co-op, Ford and Npower. News of the World was closed by News International a week ago.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation owns 39% of Sky News’ parent company BSkyB, and recently withdrew its bid to buy the remaining 61% as a result of the phone-hacking scandal, saying that it had ‘become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate.’

Written by Adam Lechmere

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