Seven ‘working closely with partners’ on solutions as Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed

The Australian free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has said it supports the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the events until 2021.

Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer and director of Olympics Kurt Burnette said the organisation is now working with its partner brands to find other ways of reaching the promised audiences and demographics.

Seven had been relying on Tokyo 2020 to secure large linear and BVOD audiences

In launching its Tokyo 2020 offering to the market last year, Seven promised to deliver 40 live streams and said more than 20m Australians will watch the linear broadcast. In addition, Seven said 5m would watch online (with some crossover between the two).

Seven was looking to dominate the commercial FTA ratings during the two-week Olympic period, with a 60% commercial share.

Now, Burnette said the broadcaster is looking at other options.

“We’re disappointed to no longer be able to offer our partners the incredible platform that Tokyo 2020 could provide,” he said.

“Our partners are just as disappointed as us, but completely support that the health and safety of the global community comes first. We’re already working together to explore all options and to help support them in reaching their key audiences now, when messaging is more important than ever.”

Burnette is exploring other options 

Seven’s managing director and chief executive officer James Warburton added: “While we are just as disappointed as anyone with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the health and safety of the athletes, officials and spectators is paramount, which is why we absolutely support the decision taken by the IOC.”

Seven had only recently announced it commentary and content team.

There is no word yet on Seven’s programming and content plans for the period in which it would have broadcast the games.


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