Nine’s cricket revenue already ‘close to surpassing that of entire 2013/14 Ashes series’

Revenue secured by Channel Nine before the start of the opening test match between Australia and India nearly outstripped that generated throughout last year’s entire Ashes series, the network has said.

Group sales and marketing director Peter Wiltshire said it came “very close” to beating the revenue from the five-match clash with England “before a ball had been bowled” in this week’s first test in Adelaide.

“All partner, sponsor and series package opportunities aren fully subscribed,” he said.

Nine has secured four national partners for the series – Commonwealth Bank, KFC, Carlton United Brewers (CUB) and Toyota – and seven sponsors: Bunnings, BWS, Microsoft, Taubmans, Holden, Harvey Norman and Nine’s newly launched joint venture streaming business Stan.

Wiltshire said he was not surprised at the revenue figures, which he declined to reveal.

“We set a plan to work as effectively as possible with our clients and have a satisfactory outcome against the backdrop of the substantial rights investment we make,” he said.

Nine’s broadcast partners receive stand alone recognition of their involvement with the coverage and receive a “greater level of integration”, network sports sales director Sam Brennan said.

“[They also] receive a higher level of protection against competitors buying spots in ad breaks,” he said, adding it leads to a “greater share of voice”.

Along with TVC’s that will air throughout the international test series until January, paint brand Taubman has also sponsored the pitch and eagle eye integration throughout the cricket season until the end of February.

Commbank, meanwhile, has continued its association with the sport through the Commbank Cricket Club while KFC has repeated its trivia challenge.

“Our heritage in cricket runs deep and is evident through our long-term commitment to celebrating and supporting the nation’s sport,” Commbank brand, sponsorship and marketing services general manager Stuart Tucker said.

“The CommBank Cricket Club is our way of rewarding fans of cricket and investing in local cricket clubs around Australia to help continue to grow the game we all love.”

The bank  has three TV ads running during the summer along with press, radio and digital advertising, while its marketing will extend to a free-standing Cricket Clubhouse to be built within Sydney Cricket Ground, seating up to 50 people. It has also produced a social media video using models to promote the game.

In addition, a special members’ deck underneath the scoreboard at the Commonwealth Bank Sydney Test will enable fans to send customised messages to the players out on the field. Meanwhile the popular review of the day’s play using plastic figurines has also returned.

Microsoft is integrated into the coverage with pundits and analysts in the studio using Surface tablets as part of their match analysis technology.

Nine also produced a video with veteran commentator Richie Benaud introducing the summer of cricket.

Under the tagline ‘What a Life it is’, Benaud is the voiceover to an emotional series of images depicting the many forms of cricket, from beaches to backyards.

Benaud, who last month revealed he was fighting skin cancer, was unable to return to the commentary box for the first Test due to poor health.

“Richie’s always been the sound of summer and we all somehow instinctively associate his voice with cricket and all the good things about the game,” Nine head of sport Steve Crawley said.

“He played a big role at the Adelaide Oval without even being there.”

Steve Jones


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