Multi Channel Network (MCN) has revealed Foxtel’s latest broadcast innovation, The FOX CRICKET Channel, has secured eight premier partners: Toyota Australia, Alinta, Lion Beer Australia, bet365, Harvey Norman, McDonald’s, Bunnings and Maytronics.
Beyond being a major first for Subscription TV in Australia, with Foxtel holding broadcast rights to all cricket for the first time, the new channel will also see the first roll out of new innovative advertising models that feature unprecedented levels of integration.
The channel, which has been running 24/7 cricket from the start of this month, will broadcast all formats of the game for summer: from November 2018 through to March 2019. Across the dedicated channel, app and social media, FOX SPORTS broadcast and digital streaming rights will provide advertisers highly integrated partnerships though every facet of live action and analysis.
MCN national Sports sales director, Martin Medcraf, said the launch of the FOX CRICKET channel represents a major evolution in how brands connect with sports audiences and is the beginning of how MCN will pioneer new advertising models for premium content.
“Australia’s new home of cricket, FOX CRICKET, not only signals a new era for cricket broadcasting in Australia, but also signifies a major shift in how MCN will be approaching advertising integrations for Foxtel’s premier assets,” he said.
“Rather than putting a traditional emphasis on TVCs, we’re creating a more balanced spread across FOX CRICKET’s TV, digital and in-app channels. Additionally, we are working in collaboration with partners and FOX SPORTS to enhance favourite technologies like snicko, hot spot & ball tracker, plus build additional new innovative technologies on the channel.
“The shift in approach means we deliver a premium environment for advertisers, while enriching the viewer’s knowledge of the game and enhancing their experience. Our partners see huge value in this new way of activating their integrations. Evolving the focus from a TVC to seamless integration within the program or its supporting assets, provides a full range of audience touch points. It also means we can integrate partner’s advertising messages into the very fabric of the channel.”
FOX CRICKET is expected to attract huge audiences. It will feature every Men’s Test, One-Day International, Twenty20, Big Bash League matches, women’s international cricket and 23 Women’s Big Bash League matches, all available to watch or stream live in HD. FOX CRICKET will also be Foxtel’s second code to be broadcast in 4K in the Subscription TV provider’s aim to reinvigorate its viewing experience for customers.
Head of FOX SPORTS, Peter Campbell, said: “We have had an amazing response from advertisers to our FOX CRICKET proposition to connect brands with fans through the shared love of cricket on any device. At FOX SPORTS we put the fan first and we firmly believe that a better experience for fans means better engagement for our brand partners. We are invested in working with our advertisers to create true brand partnerships that result in something different and impactful.”
Wayne Gabriel, chief marketing officer, Toyota Australia, commented: “We are at a key point in time in live sports consumption and for us it is critical to have firsthand learnings. Live Streaming in particular is now a natural behaviour and, as the eco system of sport continues to fragment, Toyota Australia is looking forward to our partnership with FOX CRICKET in what will be a dynamic viewing landscape this summer.”
Harvey Norman CEO, Katie Page, said: “Harvey Norman is delighted to be involved with FOX SPORTS’ Summer of Cricket. Australians love their live sport and cricket over summer on FOX CRICKET is a great fit for Harvey Norman stores Australia wide.”
Richard Whaite, national marketing & partnerships mManager, ALINTA said: “As the Platinum Partner of the Australian Cricket Team, Alinta Energy is excited to be partnering with FOX CRICKET to bring energy to Aussie Cricket fans this summer.”