Seven hopes for 2018 Commonwealth Games ratings bonanza as it opens broadcast HQ on Gold Coast

Network Seven will have a team of 1,200 working on the 2018 Commonwealth Games and is hoping for a ratings bonanza for the event which takes place on the Gold Coast.

Kurt Burnette:

Kurt Burnette: “This is a very big deal for the Gold Coast and Queensland”

Yesterday Seven and production services company NEP Australia were formally announced as the host broadcaster with state minister for the Commonwealth Games, Stirling Hinchliffe, officially opening the broadcast HQ.

“This is a very big deal for the Gold Coast and Queensland,” Seven’s sales boss Kurt Burnette told Mumbrella. “It’s an unusual one in that we are bringing our expertise in how we produce these events – be it the Rugby World Cup in 2003, the host broadcaster for the swimming in 2000 – it is about bringing that expertise around people, planning and processes to the Commonwealth Games in 2018.”

The host broadcast team currently numbers 20 but will expand to 60 over the course of next year, and reach a Games-time workforce of more than 1,200.

“We obviously announced that we were the broadcaster of the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and today was the announcement that we are the host broadcaster with NEP,” he said. “We did a joint presentation against others to win the global broadcast rights and are pleased we were successful.”

Burnette noted that like the Olympics the Commonwealth Games were always a ratings winner, with the benefit that Australia always records a larger medal haul through the absence of the likes of the US in the competition.

“The medal haul is always enormous for Australia and Australians like to watch athletes win,” said Burnette. “The fact is that the second most-watched event in history is the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. That still stands only behind the Olympics Games as the most-watched event ever.”

With the Rio 2016 Olympics just months away, Burnette said that he was happy with how sales were going, revealing that figures were ahead of this time during the last Games t be shown on Seven, Beijing in 2008.

“The fact is the sponsorship is up on Beijing in 2008 so that’s been great,” he said. “But, as ever, a short market will dictate the final outcome.

“This is my sixth Summer Olympics and you don’t generally sell out the full inventory; there is always room to support other initiatives. We will be selling right up until the Closing Ceremony.”

Burnette said advertiser interest had also been strong in additional properties outside of TV and in the post-Olympics spots which Seven is hoping to launch off the back of the Games.

“The additional assets we have in terms of pre-roll and social have been a high-demand focus for us,” he said. “It’s that combination that we have been talking about, with TV as the driver, social as the sharer and digital as the catch-up.

“And of course we will also be launching four big new shows off the back of the Olympics. Plus the news is chugging along nicely boosted by The Chase and other parts of the schedules.”

The Mumbrella Sports Marketing Summit on July 28 features a session looking at ‘How to crash the Olympics and not get sued’ while Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner features on a question time panel. Click here for the details and to get your tickets. 



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