Nine announces extended coverage for 2020 Australian Open

After ratings success in 2019, Nine is launching its 2020 Australian Open plans with a promise of expanded cross-platform coverage and the new ATP Cup as a lead-in to the Australian Open.

The expansion will come through the use of 9Gem, which will give viewers greater choice over which games they chose to watch. This will go alongside Nine’s BVOD platform 9Now carrying every game of the tournament live.

The Australian Open was a ratings hit for Nine at the beginning of 2019

In 2019, 1.171m metro viewers tuned in to watch the Australian Open women’s final on Nine and 1.589m watched the men’s. Nine won broadcast rights for the sport in 2018 following a $300m deal which saw the sport leave Seven for the first time in more than 40 years. The deal gave Nine the rights to broadcast all premium tennis played in Australia between 2020 and 2024.

Nine then paid Seven a further $48.5m for the 2019 rights, filling the gap before 2020 and ending the worries of a summer without sport for the network.

Starting in November with Ash Barty in the final of the Fed Cup, followed by the Davis Cup finals in Spain, Nine’s summer tennis coverage will include the Brisbane International, Hobart International and Adelaide International followed by the ATP Cup. The Cup is a new men’s tournament between competing nations which will feature 24 teams and have the biggest prize money outside of a major grand slam.

“Last year more than 14.4m Aussies tuned in to our Summer of Tennis,” said Tom Malone, Nine’s director of sport.

“In 2020, it will be even bigger. We will again bring a dynamic broadcasting approach to what is an unmissable festival of summer – delivering the matches, atmosphere and fun to Aussies to appeal more deeply to every type of fan, all the way from the fanatic to the festival goer.”

Tom Malone

Utilising its cross-platform strategy, Nine says it will offer commercial partners new ways to integrate with the Australian Open as well as bespoke opportunities around the tournament.

Through the merger with Fairfax, Nine will also be able to offer publishing opportunities, including developing a Good Weekend edition for the Australian Open. Good AO will be the go-to document for the Open, with suggestions on the best experiences, food and restaurants, to be distributed across Sydney and Melbourne.

AO Essential will be a dedicated 9Now program which will feature highlight packages and unmissable moments from play the day before.

In October, a weekend television show will launch to cater to fans and fanatics who are hungry for more tennis in the run-up to the Australian Open. A 60 Minutes special, Behind the Racquet, will also go behind the scenes of the event.

“In 2019, we clearly demonstrated what we could do for marketers around the Australian Open with exciting new activations that delivered real results for brands likes Kia, Peters and Uber Eats,” Matt Granger, Nine’s director of sales for sports, said.

“Next year’s tournament will be no different, with a range of bespoke solutions being developed for clients that seek to capitalise on the truly unique nature of tennis in January. Last year we showed that there is no other event like the Australian Open, which captures fans across the areas of food, kids, music, and of course tennis itself.”


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