Nine and Foxtel win 2012 Olympics rights

By David Knox on October 13, 2007 / Filed Under News 11

The Nine Network and Foxtel have jointly won the broadcast rights to the 2012 London Olympics and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Together they will provide the most comprehensive coverage of the Olympics ever seen in Australia, across a number of media platforms: free to air, subscription, internet and mobile.

The win is part of an aggressive step by the Nine Network to snatch back its position as the leading free-to-air broadcaster. Seven has held the rights since 1992.

“We believe the London Olympics will be a great event – London is a solid cultural fit with our viewing audiences and will achieve strong ratings particularly with the historical links in sporting and cultural terms between Australia and the United Kingdom “, said Nine boss David Gyngell.

“We believe winning the rights to broadcast the Olympics sends a powerful message that Nine is on the way back,” he added.

Foxtel’s Kim Williams said, “Not only will Foxtel provide dedicated extra channels, we will broadcast many elements of our coverage in high definition, which together with the Foxtel iQ disc drive set-top units, Foxtel Mobile and Broadband will give our subscribers the ultimate control, choice and personalisation of how they watch, share and celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics.”

Seven will broadcast the 2008 Beijing Olympics for which it paid $75m. With NBC paying $2.2B in June, an increase of 30%, the Australia bid could have gone as high as $120m sources say.

And yes, that’s the official London 2012 logo!

Press Release:

The Nine Network Australia and FOXTEL today announced they had jointly secured the exclusive broadcast rights (terrestrial TV, subscription TV, Mobile and internet) from the International Olympic Committee for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

The landmark deal will see Nine and FOXTEL partner to deliver Australians the most comprehensive coverage of the winter and summer Olympics ever seen on free-to-air and subscription television.

The Nine/FOXTEL deal includes live rights for free-to-air, HD Channel programming and subscription television, as well as internet and mobile rights.

Nine Network Australia Chief Executive Officer David Gyngell said the bid for the Olympic broadcasting was another step in a process to take Nine back to its position as the leading free-to-air broadcaster in Australia.

“The bid for the Olympic rights underscores the longer term commitment to the Network and the preparedness to invest in content.”

Mr Gyngell said the coverage on Nine would be comprehensive and exciting.

“We believe the London Olympics will be a great event – London is a solid cultural fit with our viewing audiences and will achieve strong ratings particularly with the historical links in sporting and cultural terms between Australia and the United Kingdom .

“We believe winning the rights to broadcast the Olympics sends a powerful message that Nine is on the way back,” he added.

PBL Media Chief Executive Officer Ian Law said: “The bid for the Olympics had the strong support of the board as it demonstrated the longer term approach being taken to rebuild Nine across a range of demographic groups.

“It clearly demonstrates a commitment to the business – both in terms of its people and content,” he said.

FOXTEL Chief Executive Kim Williams AM said: “FOXTEL will compliment Nine’s comprehensive free-to air coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics by delivering our subscribers an expanded coverage that will provide an unparalleled choice of whole live strands of Olympic competition and an entirely new viewing experience fitting for the finest of all international sports events.

“Not only will FOXTEL provide dedicated extra channels, we will broadcast many elements of our coverage in high definition, which together with the FOXTEL iQ disc drive set-top units, FOXTEL Mobile and Broadband will give our subscribers the ultimate control, choice and personalisation of how they watch, share and celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics.”

The bid for the Olympics was lodged in Lausanne by David Gyngell, Jeffrey Browne and Gary Fenton from Nine, and Kim Williams and Peter Campbell from FOXTEL.

Full details on how the Nine/FOXTEL partnership and programming offer will operate will be released progressively leading into the marketing of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.

11 Comments »

  1. Big V February 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm -

    Dreading the coverage being delayed in Perth with Nine treating us like NBC in the U.S and we’re considering getting Foxtel for the Olympics.

  2. Anonymous October 14, 2007 at 2:55 am -

    Well, well, well – thats not so surprising knowing that the Packer camp own a portion of Foxtel – no matter what, these two outlets will always be in cahoots with each other when it comes to broadcasting rights – ch9 was a little cheesed about losing the AFL coverage but because of Foxtel, they don’t quite miss out on the profits either way.

    Pity about this news as I am not a fan of Ch9 and prefer ch7′s coverage of the Olympics – I can remember only as far back as when ch7 had the Moscow Olympics in 1980 so there is a long history there!

  3. Johnson October 13, 2007 at 7:47 pm -

    SBS has the Australian rights to the World Cup soccer in 2010 (in South Africa) and 2014.

  4. Jake October 13, 2007 at 7:43 pm -

    I’m disappointed at the announcement. I like Seven’s coverage of the Olympics, they have always done a fantastic job.

    I also think it’s unfair to put a large portion of events on Foxtel for those people interested in events that aren’t Foxtel subscribers.

  5. Anonymous October 13, 2007 at 6:26 pm -

    Good get by Nine, even though collectively i’d rather watch the World Cup of Football then the Olympics, i rather like the opening ceremony of the Olympics though, it will definitely boost Nine.

    Btw- why didn’t a FTA network )or did they?) bid for Sth Africa 2010, it would be a very good addition to say Seven, as long as Australia make it, Imagine the ratings for Aus v Italy if it was at a reasonable time, not early morning, it easily passed 2m.

  6. David Knox October 13, 2007 at 4:57 pm -

    It’s not unusual, Seven bid and won for the 2006 / 2008 Winter/ Summer games.

    I’d be wagering a big bet that Nine have 0 interest in the Paralympic Games. Even for Sydney they went on the ABC not Seven.

    Comm Games are completely different and watch Seven try to swoop on those.

  7. Johnson October 13, 2007 at 4:23 pm -

    I am very unhappy of the announcement because it is another backward step by the International Olympic Committee. Earlier this year it awarded the Hong Kong broadcast rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympics to local pay-TV firm Wharf Cable. Today’s announcement means Foxtel will be the second major subscription TV firm in the world to broadcast the Olympics.
    If Nine wins the next rights to the AFL in three years’ time, it will be Australia’s No.1 network by the time London Olympics comes around.
    The question is: will Nine and Foxtel try to get the rights to the 2010 and 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India?

  8. Anonymous October 13, 2007 at 2:36 pm -

    I love channel nine, I have been an avid fan. I don’t really care about the ratings and how channel 7 is dominating the rating’s, I don’t really care. Channel nine is still the one and I will still watch channel nine

  9. Anonymous October 13, 2007 at 2:25 pm -

    david…. do the networks have to re-bid every time the olympic rights come around or is it unusual that they have only signed up for 1 summer and 1 winter games?

  10. David Knox October 13, 2007 at 11:54 am -

    Actually I disagree. Had Seven made this announcement today it would have been another blow to Nine. This certainly sends out a message from the Nine camp with currency.

  11. Anonymous October 13, 2007 at 11:51 am -

    Yes, Channel Nine are on their way back…in five years’ time?

    Wow, how fantastic, really…

    Besides, channel 7′s staple programs may not last that long anyway, so who knows? Nine might have a chance, and pigs do fly…

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