Foxtel's Olympic Success Over Nine Will Force Change For Next Games
The "nature of Olympic broadcasting rights is set to change fundamentally after the success of Foxtel's multi-channel and tablet app and consumer frustration at parts of Nine's delayed London 2012 coverage," according to Davidson & Canning of THE AUSTRALIAN. The London Games provided strong ratings for Nine, but Foxtel's strategy of offering eight TV channels and streaming events to mobile devices "will put pressure on the next free-to-air broadcaster to offer a better multi-channel experience." A commentator close to Fox Sports said that free-to-air networks will be forced to "re-examine how they used their digital multi-channels," as consumers will "expect multi-channel coverage as a minimum for the next Winter and Summer Games." Australian media execs believe the IOC asking price "will be too high and will seek to emulate a deal similar to that achieved by CBC in Canada, which regained rights to broadcast the Games, apparently at a reduced cost compared with the previous deal for the London Games won by a private consortium." Foxtel's sales house Multi Channel Network has already "reaped the benefits of the pay-TV network's multi-channel broadcast," which had led to advertisers reappraising the medium. MCN CEO Anthony Fitzgerald said the ratings far surpassed expectations and the response from advertisers and sponsors was "glowing" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/13).