Nine’s Sneesby: Olympics critical to building a position in the streaming market

It is difficult for anyone to predict exactly what television will look like by the time the Brisbane Olympics rolls around in 2032, said Nine CEO Mike Sneesby after the network secured the crown jewel in the sporting rights landscape.

“One thing I am certain of is digital distribution and streaming will be a much bigger part of the mix,” he said this morning following Nine’s $305 million deal.

Finish line: Nine has the last tier one sport in the bag

Sneesby said one of the reasons a partnership like this one makes sense, is that the developments in the streaming space with be “rapid” in the coming years, “in terms of defining the ad-funded and subscription markets, as well as developments we probably haven’t considered yet”.

Nine and Stan have repeatedly insisted there are no plans for an ad-funding tier on the SVOD service, unlike its competitors in Disney+, Netflix, and Binge.

“These kinds of sporting events, this kind of tentpole content will be critical to building and establishing a position in those markets.”

“I like to think about it like networks who were developing their network position and brand back in the 1980s and 1990s, and major event programming is such an important part of developing a brand for a network and creating a destination that people know and love.”

“This 10-year partnership will be a really important part of that aspect of building the brands that people know and love in the streaming space and, in distribution that’s yet to come.”

Many will question the value of the next few events, with the Paris Games next year, and 2028 in LA providing less-than-ideal timezones for primetime viewing. Sneesby said the Olympics remain “the biggest sporting event in the world”, but accommodating the next few in different timezones means there will be a slightly different approach for each.

Taking the rest was all part of securing the local games, however.”

“But fundamentally this package of games leading up to Brisbane 2032 is a really important pillar of our overall content programming strategy.”


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