‘Our portfolio is unlike any Australian media company at this point’: Paramount’s Prosser

Speaking on this week’s Mumbrellacast, Paramount ANZ chief sales officer Rod Prosser said the media company’s competitors extend beyond just the free-to-air networks, as he highlighted the growing diversity in its portfolio, and how the rebrand has helped streamline its proposition locally.

“Here locally we are certainly well poised to compete very well against our competitors, and we don’t just look at our competitors as the FTA networks, we’re very different, our portfolio is very different. It’s unlike any Australian media company at this point, and for us, it is our point of difference.

Rod Prosser is this week’s Mumbrellacast guest

“But really importantly,” he continued. “The assets and the platforms need to come together in a very distinct way, and I think that that’s what we’re offering the market and our advertisers. Is a very distinctly different proposition. So I think that we do stand out.”

Paramount has another service on the horizon, though Prosser said the arrival of Pluto still has no date set in stone, as its still on a “wait and see basis”.

“We’re certainly very excited about the day it does arrive,” he adds.

This multitude of offerings, Prosser said, plays into the network’s hands in particular with its ability to stay flexible, and he said this has proven to be, and will continue to be the case with its sports coverage, as he reflected on the first season of A-Leagues coverage.

Asked if next season we may see more games move onto its free-to-air channels in order to grow to sport and its viewers, Prosser said nothing is out of the equation.

“We have both the SVOD and FTA rights, and we’re one business, so we can work with our partners on scheduling and where it makes sense, of course we would put more games onto 10, or if it made sense, we could reinvent the schedule completely. We’re one business, and when you have ownership across those platforms, you get flexibility and the ability to work with the sporting partners to actually execute what will be the best schedule. So we will always be open-minded to any of that.”

The network’s first season airing the A-Leagues recently concluded.

Asked about other potential tweaks, including ad breaks during live-action, which has caught the FTA coverage criticism this year, Prosser insisted he will continue to do what is best for the business.

“We’ve already made tweaks to that,” he said. “But look, ultimately we’re a commercial business. And therefore we have to operate and behave like a commercial business. If viewers don’t want that, then potentially it may all just go back behind a paywall. So you can blame me for that, because I’m a commercial guy and I like making money off the rights that we acquire, and that was part of it.

“So look, we want to make sure that the viewers get the best experience possible. That’s first and foremost, but we are a commercial business that needs to make money off these rights so we can bring all Australians a great coverage.”

Prosser said overall the network is pleased with the first season of A-Leagues coverage, which he said has seen the sport reach “four times the amount of viewers than in its previous season”.

While Prosser wouldn’t comment on the ongoing race for the AFL coverage, the multi-platform, streaming, and FTA solution is thought to be part of Paramount’s pitch to the league’s executives.

On its current commitment to another code – football (soccer) – Prosser said this hypothetical wouldn’t be a hindrance in bringing in any further rights.

“Obviously we won’t talk about any of those rights discussions that might be happening or might not be happening in detail, but I will say this, we’ve got a multiplatform business that can carry a lot of content. So there are always ways of making sure that content can be shown and aired for all Australians.”

Look out for the full interview with Rod Prosser on tomorrow’s Mumbrellacast. You can find all past episodes here. 


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