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New Olympic Broadcaster For Australia


ard72

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Heavy word around media circles is that long-time Australian Olympic broadcaster Seven Network have lost out on the rights for 2010 & 2012 with a consortium composed of Nine Network (free-to-air), FOXTEL (cable) & Telstra (mobile/internet) picking up the rights

Not many will shed a tear though, Seven's Olympic coverage has been friggin woeful! 2006 Olympic coverage was an utter disgrace and before that not much better - hell nobody will ever forget their botched 2000 Sydney coverage including playing ads while Susie O'Neill jumped off the blocks in her gold-medal winning race with Seven missing the first 50 metres of the race!

Good riddance to bad rubbish (not that Nine will be much better but at least there will be multiple FOXTEL channels to watch now!)

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Nine is part of Packer's empire, isn't it?

For the moment still, yes. We're still waiting to see a bit of a rearranging the deckchairs in local media ownership, but that said, I can't seee Packer getting rid ever of his TV jewel.

Meh, considering the main local broadcaster here will always be a free-to-air commercial operator (the games are protected by the anti-syphoning regulations) I doubt anyone would do anything significantly better than the others. For the money they pay to get the rights, those commercial breaks rule! And when it comes to live events, producers will always make the odd gaffe. I'm not trying to defend Seven _ I've been concerned that they are slowly but surely following the US-type personality, jingoistic, "light" games coverage and I shudder to think of things like Mel and the annoying Kochie doing Sunrise from Beijing, but I can't see anyojne else doing much different.

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Nine is part of Packer's empire, isn't it?

Wow _ talk about coincidence. Packer today just sold 25 per cent of its local media intersts, thus ending an era by giving up its majority ownership in the Nine Network.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hope Australian TV will give comprehensive coverage like what Seven did with Sydney and Salt Lake City with C7 Sport, and to a lesser extent now with SBS with less commercial breaks as that has garnered numerous complaints. Also, I'd like to see what plans does the future Aussie TV Olympic rights holder will do for the Internet down there.

Let's see:

1976 (Montreal)--ABC, Seven, Nine

1980 (Moscow)--Seven

1984 (Los Angeles)--Ten

1988 (Seoul)--Ten

1992 (Albertville and Barcelona)--Seven

1994 (Lillehammer)--Seven

1996 (Atlanta)--Seven

1998 (Nagano)--Seven

2000 (Sydney)--Seven/C7 Sport

2002 (Salt Lake City)--Seven/C7 Sport

2004 (Athens)--Seven/SBS

2006 (Torino)--Seven

2008 (Beijing)--Seven/SBS

Help me finish or correct the networks, particualrly the winter games.

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  • 3 months later...

;)

http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,23...3-31037,00.html

Nine, Foxtel to broadcast Olympics

October 13, 2007 10:10am

Article from: AAP

THE Nine Network and FOXTEL have jointly secured the exclusive broadcast rights from the International Olympic Committee for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

The landmark deal will see Nine and FOXTEL partner to deliver Australians the most comprehensive coverage of the winter and summer Olympics ever seen on free-to-air and subscription television.

The Nine/FOXTEL deal includes live rights for free-to-air, HD Channel programming and subscription television, as well as internet and mobile rights.

Nine Network Australia Chief Executive Officer David Gyngell said the bid for the Olympic broadcasting was another step in a process to take Nine back to its position as the leading free-to-air broadcaster in Australia.

"The bid for the Olympic rights underscores the longer term commitment to the Network and the preparedness to invest in content."

Mr Gyngell said the coverage on Nine would be comprehensive and exciting.

"We believe the London Olympics will be a great event - London is a solid cultural fit with our viewing audiences and will achieve strong ratings particularly with the historical links in sporting and cultural terms between Australia and the United Kingdom," he said.

FOXTEL Chief Executive Kim Williams said FOXTEL would complement Nine's coverage by delivering subscribers an expanded coverage that will provide choice of whole live strands of Olympic competition.

"Not only will FOXTEL provide dedicated extra channels, we will broadcast many elements of our coverage in high definition, which together with the FOXTEL iQ disc drive set-top units, FOXTEL Mobile and Broadband will give our subscribers the ultimate control, choice and personalisation of how they watch the Olympics," he said.

The bid for the Olympics was lodged in Lausanne by David Gyngell, Jeffrey Browne and Gary Fenton from Nine, and Kim Williams and Peter Campbell from FOXTEL.

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I hope Australian TV will give comprehensive coverage like what Seven did with Sydney and Salt Lake City with C7 Sport, and to a lesser extent now with SBS with less commercial breaks as that has garnered numerous complaints. Also, I'd like to see what plans does the future Aussie TV Olympic rights holder will do for the Internet down there.

Let's see:

1976 (Montreal)--ABC, Seven, Nine

1980 (Moscow)--Seven

1984 (Los Angeles)--Ten

1988 (Seoul)--Ten

1992 (Albertville and Barcelona)--Seven

1994 (Lillehammer)--Seven

1996 (Atlanta)--Seven

1998 (Nagano)--Seven

2000 (Sydney)--Seven/C7 Sport

2002 (Salt Lake City)--Seven/C7 Sport

2004 (Athens)--Seven/SBS

2006 (Torino)--Seven

2008 (Beijing)--Seven/SBS

Help me finish or correct the networks, particualrly the winter games.

1980 (Lake Placid) - ?

1984 (Sarajevo) - ?

1988 (Calgary) - Nine

1992 (Albertville) - Nine

1994 (Lillehammer) - Nine

1996 (Atlanta) - Seven/Sports Australia

1998 (Nagano) - Seven/FOX Sports

.....

2010 (Vancouver) - Nine/FOX Sports

2012 (London) - Nine/FOX Sports

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Few people read the GamesBids news threads, so it would be bound to get better comment here anyway.

Well, that's sure a coup for Nine! And you did well with hearing the rumours back in May, Ard72 _ you must have some good contacts _ I also work in media here and had heard no presaging of it. Any idea of figures? I notice no amount was mentioned. Oh well, it seems one of Nine's few bright spots after a sh!t year against Seven.

I guess we'll have to get used to Ray Warren and Eddie Maguire as our Olympic point men (*shudder*).

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Great article about the skullduggery about the deal in today's Australian:

How Packer and Gyngell entered IOC's tent

By GLENDA KORPORAAL

Former Seven sports director Gary Fenton was a secret weapon in negotiations

IN March 2005 International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge met James Packer and then Nine chief executive David Gyngell while he was visiting Melbourne.

The meeting of about half an hour was arranged at the request of Packer, who particularly wanted Gyngell to meet the IOC president.

Arranged by Australia's senior International Olympic Committee member Kevan Gosper, the meeting was to brief Nine on the IOC's plans for the sale of its Olympic television rights package, for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Games, which would go to London.

The IOC was well down the track in its negotiations for the rights to televise the Games after 2008, having signed up US broadcaster NBC to a record $US2 billion deal for the two Games back in June 2003, with parent General Electric throwing in another $US200 million to become an Olympic sponsor.

With a few more deals under its belt for other countries, it was keen to get the negotiations for the Australian rights for the post-2008 Games under way.

Packer and Gyngell were keen to get assurances that the bidding process would be an open one that did not give the current Olympic broadcaster Seven, which has had the Games since Barcelona in 1992, the inside running.

Kerry Stokes' Seven network had paid $US64 million for the rights to broadcast the 2006 Winter Games in Turin and the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008 as part of a multi-games package deal struck in January 1996, in secrecy, well before the Sydney Olympics.

In the past, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch was known to favour deals with existing television rights holders to the exclusion of possible higher offers by outsiders and newcomers.

Packer and Gyngell left the meeting, which Gosper stresses was not a secret one and was held with the full knowledge of Kerry Stokes and the Seven network, confident that the rights deal would be a fair process that would give any offer by Nine, whose last Olympic broadcast was the Winter Olympics in 1992, serious consideration. Backed by Stokes, a passionate Olympic supporter, Seven was always going to put in a serous bid for the next rights package, but after the meeting with Rogge, Packer and Gyngell decided that Nine should take a close look at bidding.

Nine had lost interest in the Olympics after it lost money on broadcasting the Winter Games in Albertville in 1992.

Before that it had been involved in the broadcast of the Munich Games in 1972 and the Montreal Olympics in 1976, which were covered by a combination of Seven, Nine and the ABC.

One of Nine's secret weapons in any Olympic rights bid -- apart from the Packer-Nine chequebook -- was former Seven sports director Gary Fenton.

An Olympic enthusiast, Fenton was actually involved in the negotiations with the IOC in

Continued -- Page 39

From Page 33

1995 and 1996 for the rights to broadcast the Games from 2000 onwards, having an invaluable corporate memory of dealing with the IOC.

Fenton headed Seven's broadcast of the 1996 Games in Atlanta and was recruited to run the Sydney Olympic host broadcaster, SOBO. He joined Nine as sports director after the 2000 Games, knowing Seven had the Olympic rights out to 2008.

Fenton, who has Australia's largest collection of Olympic torches, is well known at senior levels of the IOC and is close to IOC television broadcasting chief, Spaniard Manolo Romero.

He was a frequent sight in the international broadcast centre during the 2004 Olympics in Athens until infuriated Seven executives complained. Once Packer and Gyngell gave their go-ahead, Fenton was a key driver in putting together a bid by Nine.

During a visit to Sydney in June that year, the IOC's chief television rights negotiator Richard Carrion, a banker from Puerto Rico, made it clear that the organisation was looking for a deal that would allow for full technological exploitation of the Olympics -- not just free to air television.

While the IOC has always insisted that the Games be available on free-to-air television, the new team under president Rogge was aware that it had to move to embrace the full electronic and digital potential of the Olympics, which typically generate thousands of hours of raw television footage, most of which is never seen by viewers.

Carrion said the IOC would sell the rights for 2010 and 2012 to a ``gatekeeper'' which would not only ensure that they were covered extensively on free-to-air television, but which was free to onsell the rights to pay-television, the internet, telephony and anything else electronic to maximise coverage.

``It's a point of pride to us that the Olympics are a vehicle to deploy leading-edge technology,'' Carrion said during his visit.

The IOC knew that the internet, which would soon have the potential to show high-quality moving images, had the potential to undermine its major source of income -- the billions it received from free-to-air television broadcasters.

With 28 sports and more than 300 medal events in a Summer Games, it also knew that the Olympics had the potential for much greater electronic coverage than the limited 24 hours a day provided by free-to-air television.

During his visit, Carrion was also impressed by a presentation from Fox Sports on the potential for using the Games on pay television.

Executives from both Nine and Seven both attended the IOC annual meeting soon after in Singapore, which saw London awarded the rights to host the 2012 Games, knocking out the expected favourite Paris, whose supporters had irritated IOC members with their arrogance.

But the IOC was not happy with the indicative offers coming from the two major potential bidders in Australia.

It announced soon after that it was suspending the negotiations until after the outcome of the federal Government's media legislation.

Carrion and his team struck deal after deal for the post-2008 rights negotiations around the world but the Australian rights remained the only one not finalised. Seven was always going to be a bidder but the IOC was prepared to wait until it got a serious offer from Nine.

In the meantime, Foxtel was also becoming a more confident player on the Australian media scene, making a maiden profit of $4 million in the year to June 2006 and a pre-tax $76 million in the year to June 2007 on the back of a growing subscriber base.

The AFL deal struck in February was also good for Foxtel subscribers, showing the advantages of a potential deal for sports rights with free to air television.

Nine's successful ninemsn also provides a valuable internet outlet for sports product.

As the future of Nine became more certain, the Olympic negotiations were put on the front burner this year.

The word was out that the IOC was looking at a figure of around $US100 million.

Earlier this year Fenton left the Nine Network as sports director. More recently there were rumours that he was working on a secret project but when contacted by The Australian he did not return phone calls.

While Seven was keen to bid, it was not able to put together the multimedia package, which Nine and Foxtel could do, that they believe justifies such a huge bidding price.

Foxtel and Nine have also done multimedia deals on coverage of the Concert for Diana and the Live Earth concert around the world.

It was not surprising that both Gyngell and Fenton were in IOC headquarters when the deal was finally struck on Friday night.

While Seven believes its rivals have overpaid, Gyngell and Williams see the Olympic deal as the beginning of a brave new world of sports packaging and other products that can be exploited across a full range of electronic platforms.

``By 2012 the industry will become very exciting because of the potential for cross delivery across all systems,'' media buyer Harold Williams said yesterday. ``We are going to see more in future of co-ordination of delivery systems as viewers move between viewing television on free to air, pay television and the internet. You will also see the growing importance of other thing such as telephony, which will be part of it all.''

Nine and Foxtel cannot start to exploit their new product until the closing ceremony of next year's Beijing Olympics, broadcast by Seven.

But having paid such a huge amount, the consortium can be expected to be working from now on to decide how to maximise the benefit of their expensive but potentially very exciting new product.

The Australian

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1980 (Lake Placid) - ?

1984 (Sarajevo) - ?

1988 (Calgary) - Nine

1992 (Albertville) - Nine

1994 (Lillehammer) - Nine

1996 (Atlanta) - Seven/Sports Australia

1998 (Nagano) - Seven/FOX Sports

.....

2010 (Vancouver) - Nine/FOX Sports

2012 (London) - Nine/FOX Sports

Thanks ard for that. If last year's Commonwealth Games are a harbringer for what will come from the Nine/Fox Sports tandem, it would be incredible. I printed out the 2006 Commonwealth Games TV schedule from Fox Sports Australia, and that was showing everything with seven (or six) Fox Sports Channels specifically made for them even stuff Nine could not fully get. Hopefully they will show everything WITHOUT commercial interruption and have replays afterwards online and on TV, but that's the plan anyway, I can assume. It seems amazing to that Nine never got into the Summer Olympics since 1976.

I didn't know Sports Australia existed for Atlanta 1996. Could anybody fill me in on that company and what it did? What sports did Fox Sports Australia covered in Nagano?

Now that Beijing will act as Seven's last foray as "Australia's Olympic Network" until at least 2014 (when bidding renews for), isn't possible that network will attempt to pull all of the stops in its coverage? Again, I'm curious to see what its broadcast plans are for Beijing and what will its Internet coverage be like? Will we see Roy and HG in Beijing?

Having studied on the side the exponential growth of the hours in US Olympic coverage since 1960 with CBS doing 20 hours for Rome and 18 in Squaw Valley to 3600 hours in Beijing for NBC Universal, I'm genuinely curious how Australia's Olympic TV coverage grew from when Australia starting telecasting the Olympics with the number of hours, technological advances, coverage of sports and frequency, and the like. The only hours I know for sure were for Sydney with Seven/C7 Sports's over 1222 hours (more than NBC's 441) and for Athens' 606.21 hours for solely Seven. If C7 Sport was still around then, the hours of coverage would still be in the thousands together with Seven, say, 1400 hours.

I think 7 did the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and 9 did Sarejevo but I have no clue.

Thanks for the excellent article, Sir Roltel.

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Now that Beijing will act as Seven's last foray as "Australia's Olympic Network" until at least 2014 (when bidding renews for), isn't possible that network will attempt to pull all of the stops in its coverage? Again, I'm curious to see what its broadcast plans are for Beijing and what will its Internet coverage be like? Will we see Roy and HG in Beijing?

Well, they didn't do an "Ice Dream" from Torino, and while they still seem to be doing some of the radio calls for Rugby League State of Origin, they don't seem to be doing many projects together at all now (they seem to be pursuing their own individual stuff).

Still, I would love to see them do a last Olympic hurrah from Beijing! Maybe we should start a letter/email writing campaign to Seven to try and get The Beijing Dream going (could you imagine the Chinese authorities trying to cope with them?)

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