Nine has used its upfronts to reveal its plans for Wide World of Sports for 2019.
Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone, used the Nine Upfront event to talk about the acquisition of tennis and the strategic rationale and power of Nine’s cross-platform suite of properties – tennis, rugby league, cricket, netball, basketball and golf.
“It has been a massive year for sports broadcasting in Australia, driven by Nine’s decision to go after the tennis,” Malone said. “That change was driven by our strategic positioning of Nine in the new media landscape and we knew we had to be the home of the biggest sport and the best sport – exclusively broadcast by Wide World of Sports.
“Make no mistake, Nine was the protagonist in the biggest shake-up of sports rights in 40 years, and key to that was acquiring all rights across all platforms to service an audience that wants to watch things anytime and anywhere.”
In January 2019, Nine will host its first Australian Open, the start of a six-year deal with Tennis Australia, featuring the greatest lineup of tennis commentators and experts ever seen on Australian TV, including John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Lleyton Hewitt.
Combined with the Sydney International, Brisbane International and Hopman Cup tournaments, summer will see the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic lighting up screens on Nine.
The National Rugby League returns with a bang in 2019 as the star-studded Sydney Roosters defend their crown after defeating the Melbourne Storm in the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
“The Voice” of rugby league, Ray “Rabs” Warren, returns alongside the best commentary lineup in the game: Phil Gould, Wally Lewis, Peter Sterling, Paul Vautin, Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, Brad Fittler, Ruan Sims and Allana Ferguson.
Joining them next season are today’s modern greats, in the form of future Immortal Johnathan Thurston, the greatest fullback of all time, Billy Slater, and powerhouse Queensland Maroons and Australian forward, Sam Thaiday.
State of Origin makes its explosive return as the momentum shifts back to the new- look New South Wales Blues who ended Queensland’s winning reign in 2018. Next year the greatest rivalry in Australian sport visits the west coast for the first time when the Blues and Maroons do battle at Perth’s cutting-edge new Optus Stadium, in addition to their clashes in Sydney and Brisbane.
With three of the most watched programs of the year, State of Origin in 2018 continued the dominant viewing trend for the series and was watched by nearly ten million people.
Nine is also home to the biggest cricket matches in 2019, bringing viewers The Ashes series from England, exclusively live during Australian prime time. All eyes will be on 25 nights of prime-time cricket, with former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner eligible for test match selection once more in one of international sport’s longest running and fiercest rivalries.
Before The Ashes, Australia will campaign in the 2019 Cricket World Cup where the top ten nations face off in One-Day Internationals to crown the winner of the biggest prize in cricket.
Golf returns to Nine next month, with the World Cup of Golf live from Melbourne. Following this, in April, The Masters at Augusta showcases the best golfers in the world, including Tiger Woods and Australian stars Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith.
Suncorp Super Netball, the best netball competition in the world, returns to Nine in 2019 following its most successful season to date. Australian netball Hall of Famer, Liz Ellis, spearheads Nine’s coverage of two live games per week, with all games available on 9Now.
The closely contested Constellation Cup between Australia and New Zealand will also return in October 2019.
Nine recently launched a partnership with the National Basketball League, which puts two top games per week live on Nine, as well as having every game of the 2018-19 season available for streaming either live or on-demand on 9Now.
This season sees NBA superstar Andrew Bogut join the Sydney Kings as the highest profile signing in the League’s history, and record crowds are expected for the 41st season of what is one of the premier basketball competitions in the world.
Nine’s unmatched sports coverage features Australia’s leading sporting analysts and commentary teams, from the legendary Ray Warren and Bill Lawry to the opinions of Phil Gould and Mark Taylor, and the strategic minds of Liz Ellis and Andrew Johns, all delivering unprecedented access and insight into the sports we love.