Why advertisers are returning to Foxtel after sports shutdown

Foxtel Media

• TV platform now bursting with close to 2m sports subscribers

Foxtel and Foxtel Media yesterday explained in a virtual sales event why advertisers have been returning to the platform after the major winter sporting codes shutdown in March this year.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany noted in anormal year he would be “lecturing” advertisers in an event space. “This year because of what has happened we get to have an intimate chat.

In 2020 the power of sport is building brands like no other year. It is not just about ratings, but also the fabulous emotional connection that we get through sports. Covid-19 has delivered 2020 in away that we never ever pictured. For brands wanting to grow their business there has never been a better time to be connected with sport.

“When it comes to sport, the Foxtel group can deliver like no other.”

Delany revealed just how big the 2020 audiences have been since the major sports reopened.

“This year we have gone from big lows to great highs. The Foxtel group has had more sports subscribers than at any time in the past 25 years.

“There are three big takeout from today I want you to remember.

“The first thing to remember is that with our digital growth we now have premium reach.

“The second thing is we have invested around data and technology and we now have intelligent video.

“The third thing is that there has never been a better time to invest in advertising in sport with Foxtel.”

Delany was keen to point out what the growth of the Kayo platform meant to advertisers.

But before Kayo enjoyed the return of sports, Delany noted how those customers turned to movies and video on demand. “Year-on-year video on demand growth was up 83%.”

The return of sport started on May 28 with the return of the NRL. “We then had a complete rebound with Kayo. The subscriber numbers are now over 600,000 which makes it one hell of a sports platform. When you add it together to the Foxtel premium platform we now have close to 2m sports subscribers.

“The NRL audiences are up year-on-year 15% comparing the first 18 rounds of each year. That includes set top viewing plus Foxtel Now and Kayo. The viewing from digital subscribers is up 150% in sport year-on-year. A very big shift in a year FTA NRL viewing was back 3%.

“The AFL is a similar story when it comes to growth. Motorsport continues to be huge and Supercars has done a great job this year and viewing there is up around 30% with digital up 80%.

In AFL, equivalent data highlights massive fan engagement with the 2020 season so far with live audiences up +32% compared to the first 17 rounds of the 2019 season. Average audiences on Foxtel are up 10%, and Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and Kayo audiences are up over 200%.

Delany added: “What is winning these days? Winning is delivery big audiences, not just premium niche.”

Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain climbed out of Supercar to explain in more detail about the offer to advertisers. “Agencies and advertisers are critical to our success – you add to the experience on air and you push us to places of creativity.

“Patrick mentioned our audiences – we now have a bigger sports audience than we have ever had. Foxtel Media should be the first call when you think about sport.

Frain then highlighted a number of advertisers who has been using Foxtel’s sports audiences recently with great outcomes – McDonald’s for the summer of cricket, Ford for the launch of Ford Ranger across Friday Night Football, AHM across the summer of sport and Nescafé for a campaign using Fox League’s Fletch and Hindy.

A big story is the growth in streaming – the growth in video and the growth of intelligent video across Foxtel Go, Foxtel Now and Kayo. Across NRL and AFL consumption was up over 150%, giving advertisers a war chest of video inventory to buy from us. Supercars streaming growth was up close to 100%.

This offers an opportunity to reappraise what you do with us and what you spend with us. We represent an amazing set of sports assets which have never been as big.

“The Foxtel group is now something different – bigger, with more innovation with greater scale than ever before. Some media owners claim they deserve more. I strongly disagree. You have to earn the right [for more] and hopefully today we have done just that.”

Frain added: “We are gearing up for the biggest season of Cricket EVER with Virat Kohli and his team, India over here with the Cricket and the Rugby Champs uniting fans, there never has been a better time for brands to harness the power of sports to connect with Australians.

“The opportunity to integrate and bring brands to life alongside sport has never been bigger. At Foxtel Media we are never satisfied with the status quo, which is why we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with sports integration – from on- and off-field product placements to digital content and talent opportunities – now is the time for brands to get on board sports in Australia.”

Foxtel Media’s Sport 202: Breaking All the Records

Host: Hannah Hollis
Talent: Patrick Delany interviewing Peter V’landys
AFL commentators Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt
Cricket commentator Isa Guha with Ellyse Perry
Fox Sports’ Jessica Yates with Supercars CEO Sean Seamer

There was no Supercars rights renewal announcement, but Seamer did say “there will be more good news later in the week”.

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