Nine reveals plans for cross-platform coverage of Australian Open tennis

• The strategy was revealed at Tennis Australia’s First Serve event in Melbourne.

Nine has unveiled its strategy for the 2019 Australian Open, highlighting what it has described as an innovative cross-pillar strategy, which uses all of Nine’s key properties, designed to promote the Grand Slam tournament into a festival of tennis and entertainment.

The strategy was revealed at Tennis Australia’s First Serve event in Melbourne, which highlighted how Tennis Australia would work with Nine to continue to expand the Australian Open into a broader community event, built around food, music, kids and the game of tennis.

“The Australian Open is the greatest aggregator of eyeballs on consecutive nights in Australian television – bar none,” said Tom Malone, Nine’s director of sport. “But in 2019 we are going to do something different. We are going to bring not just the world-class on-court action, but the amazing atmosphere and excitement of the event itself into every Australian home.

“Nine’s coverage will be unique in that it will cater not only for the sports fanatic but also the event lovers, speaking to a broad audience that loves and engages with the great game of tennis.”

Nine will also look to integrate its key pillars – news, sports, lifestyle, entertainment – within the broadcast to showcase all aspects of the festival of tennis:

• Today (news): Nine’s breakfast show will take up residency at The Open, providing 14 days of live coverage from Melbourne – showcasing all facets of the event, the best of Melbourne, the best of tennis, the best experiences both on and off the court.
• Wide World of Sports Studio (sport): WWOS will set up camp at the heart of the precinct, providing a pop-up experience that brings fans closer to the magic of sports broadcasting, closer to the experts and entertainers and the technology that makes tennis world class.
• 9Honey (lifestyle): Nine’s women’s network 9Honey will launch a dedicated destination called Summer Serve, celebrating the very best of summer through story-led content.
• 9Now (entertainment): 9Now is being labelled the gateway for fans to watch the tennis anywhere and at any time.
• (sport): The Wide World of Sports platform is aiming to make tennis part of the conversation 365 days a year.

“When Nine secured the tennis rights we promised a true cross-platform strategy, and together Nine and we will do that by relentlessly pursuing a ‘Best Seat in the House’ strategy,” said Malone.

“Nine’s coverage of the Australian Open will showcase the best and the biggest matches through our various pillars and we can’t wait to bring that storytelling and Nine sizzle to the Australian Open – a celebration of food, music and kids.”

In terms of the broadcast, Wide World of Sports will be pursuing a “Best Seat in the House” strategy aimed at bringing millions of Australians all the tennis action on and off the court.

“Whether it’s the biggest names from Rod Laver Arena, highlights or post-match interviews, Nine’s coverage will be unwavering and all-encompassing – a premium blockbuster main channel event, on 9Now and, alongside a multicontent experience dedicated to showcase all facets of the Australian Open right across the Nine ecosystem,” said Malone.

Nine has also confirmed that from January it will begin offering its new addressable advertising solution, via live streaming, to offer marketers 9Now’s 6.5 million+ declared sign-ups – the largest of any Australian broadcaster – throughout its tennis coverage.

“Australian Open 2019 will also mark another milestone for the way we connect marketers with their target audience,” said Matt Granger, Nine’s director of sales, sport.

“With the launch of our real addressable advertising across our live streaming platform 9Now, we are clearly catering to the demand for identity-based marketing through tennis, the biggest property of the summer.”

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