At a function in Melbourne the same day Tennis Australia launched the Australian Open 2020, Nine has revealed plans to build on the success of its 2019 tennis coverage with an expanded cross-platform slate featuring the new ATP Cup, which will premiere as the lead-in to the Australian Open.
These are the highlights from Nine’s presentation about what it hopes will be good news for viewers and advertisers:
Nine will use the 9Gem multi-channel to expand its coverage of the 2020 Australian Open and ensure TV viewers have greater choice over the games they watch. This expanded free-to-air coverage is in addition to 9Now carrying every game of the tournament live.
Nine will also be home to the new ATP Cup, a men’s tournament between competing nations, which will feature 24 teams and have the highest prize money outside of a major grand slam.
This year’s summer of tennis will start in November with world no. 1 Ash Barty leading Australia in the final of the Fed Cup, followed by the Davis Cup finals from Spain. Then the Brisbane International, Hobart International and then Adelaide International – together with the ATP Cup – all leading into the Australian Open.
“Last year more than 14.4 million Aussies tuned in to our Summer of Tennis,” said Tom Malone, Nine’s director of sport. “In 2020 it will be even bigger. We will again bring a dynamic broadcasting approach to what is an unmissable festival of summer – delivering the matches, atmosphere and fun to Aussies to appeal more deeply to every type of fan, all the way from the fanatic to the festivalgoer.
“Not only we will have an additional two days of coverage on 9Gem, showing more matches on linear TV than in 2019, this is part of our expanded coverage which will capitalise on the great lead-in offered by the ATP Cup. This will build national momentum in the run-up to the hugely successful Australian Open.”
Nine will offer commercial partners new ways of integrating into the Australian Open, building on its innovative cross-platform pillar strategy of 2019. This creates bespoke opportunities around the tournament for a range of clients in areas such as news, sport, lifestyle and entertainment.
These new opportunities around the Australian Open in 2020 include:
• Publishing – Nine will look to develop a Good Weekend edition for the Australian Open, titled Good AO, which will be the bible on the Open, with unmissable experiences, advice on food/restaurants around the Grand Slam event, and distribution across Sydney and Melbourne.
• Digital – AO Essential will be a dedicated 9Now program, including highlight packages and unmissable moments from the previous day’s play.
• Television/Digital – a weekend television show launching in October, which will cater to fans and fanatics who want to know everything about the run-up to the Australian Open.
• Television/Digital – Behind the Racquet – a 60 Minutes feature special, which will go behind the scenes at the Australian Open and show viewers what exactly goes into creating a Grand Slam tennis event.
“In 2019, we clearly demonstrated what we could do for marketers around the Australian Open with exciting new activations that delivered real results for brands likes Kia, Peters and Uber Eats,” Matt Granger, Nine’s director of sales – sports, said.
“Next year’s tournament will be no different, with a range of bespoke solutions being developed for clients that seek to capitalise on the truly unique nature of tennis in January. Last year we showed that there is no other event like the Australian Open, which captures fans across the areas of food, kids, music, and of course tennis itself.”