Nine has signed a multi-year deal with NBCUniversal (NBCU) to broaden and amplify its entertainment offering across its 9Now platform.
As part of the content slate agreement, Nine has secured the broadcast premiere rights on new Bravo series commissioned from 2020 onwards.
Nine CEO Hugh Mark said the move sees 9Now move beyond a catch up service.
“Traditionally, platforms like 9Now have been focused on being largely a reflection of our linear channels,” said Marks. “This deal with NBCU sees 9Now firmly beyond being a ‘catch up service’ and instead become an entertainment destination in its own right.
“Over the past four years, we have established 9Now as the leading commercial broadcast video on demand platform in Australia, but this deal with NBCU helps us not only ensure the consistency of 9Now audience throughout the year, it also helps us better compete with the digital giants with a premium video product, which is unmatched in this market.”
Speaking to B&T, Nine director of sales – digital Nick Young said the deal is about providing free content across the 9Now platform while also focusing on achieving mass audience at-scale.
“We already have our tent-poles but are now bringing this international content to create an on-demand platform. 9Now is very much an entertainment destination in its own right,” said Young.
When asked if the content deal will impact Nine’s main channel at all, Young said there’s space for all types of content.
“We find with this kind of content is they [add] to each other in terms of bringing both the linear platform and the on-demand the platform together. [This deal] broadens our audience because we’re allowing consumers to consume our content in any way they want. That’s the benefit of having a 9Now platform.”
On whether this is just more content-saturation, Young said as an ad-focused model, there’s always room to grow and reach more consumers.
“From our perspective, and certainly my own as an ad-man, we are very focused on the ad model. In that space, there’s absolutely room to grow and reach more and more audiences as we develop our content. You see within the Australian marketplace, regardless of the platform, local content rules the day and gets mass audiences.
“I don’t think that that’s going to change, especially when it’s free. And adding the fact that 9Now are bringing that global content as well to broaden that out, I think there’s even more chance for growth going forward.”
Bravo’s stable includes shows such as The Real Housewives franchise, Below Deck, Million Dollar Listing New York, in addition to upcoming brand-new titles such as Family Karma, alongside content from E! including Botched, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.
The move will consolidate and build on 9Now’s leadership of the Australian premium video market.
“We have had a longstanding partnership with Nine and are delighted to expand our relationship with them through this monumental deal that highlights the diverse offering across the entire NBCUniversal portfolio,” said NBCU president & chief revenue officer, global distribution and international, Belinda Menendez.
Nine will also remain as the free to air home of brand-new and classic feature films from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, giving audiences access to key titles in hit franchises such as Bourne, The Fast and the Furious, Back to the Future and Shrek, as well as new movies including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Yesterday and Downton Abbey.
The new slate of programming will be available to stream or watch on Nine and 9Now from December 1.