Nine-owned streaming service Stan is moving into sports, after snaring the rugby union rights.
Nine launched ‘Stan Sport’ today and is currently trying to secure a range of other sports broadcast deals to prop up the new service.
“The launch of Stan Sport is a bold expansion for Mike Sneesby and the team at Stan, to sit alongside our hugely successful Stan entertainment offering,” said Nine CEO Hugh Marks. “We will bring all our collective expertise from decades of experience in live sport broadcasting to deliver the best possible outcomes for viewers, rights holders, and the growth ambitions of the sports we partner with.
“At Stan, we are focused on bringing Australians the best local, international and original programming, which has seen our audience reach significant scale. Today’s announcement will see us extend that offering through the launch of our live streaming capability, bringing live sport to Stan in 2021 and opening up a range of new programming opportunities. Our partnership with Rugby Australia is the perfect place to start this new business.”
Stan Sport will be offered as a Bundle to Stan’s streaming customers.
The launch of Stan Sport will mean there will soon be two dedicated sports streaming services in the Australian market, with Foxtel’s Kayo recently revealing it had 644,000 paying subscribers.
Stan Sport is expected to play all Super Rugby Games, the Shute Shield and Hospital Cup, while Nine will air the Wallabies Tests, the Rugby Championship and one game a week of Super Rugby.
It also marks the end of a 20-year partnership between Rugby Australia and Foxtel. The new three-year deal between Rugby Australia and Nine is worth approximately $100m in cash and contra.
The pay-TV provider recently said its focus was on ‘tier-one’ sports, however, it still expressed interest in the rugby.