Free-to-air broadcaster Nine has unveiled its strategy for the 2019 Australian Open, which uses all of Nine’s key properties to promote the Grand Slam tournament as a festival of tennis and entertainment.
The innovative cross-pillar strategy was revealed yesterday afternoon at Tennis Australia’s First Serve event in Melbourne.
The event highlighted how Tennis Australia would work with Nine to continue to expand the Australian Open into a broader community event, built around food, music, kids and the game of tennis.
Nine’s director of sport, Tom Malone, said: “The Australian Open is the greatest aggregator of eyeballs on consecutive nights in Australian television – bar none.
“But in 2019, we are going to do something different. We are going to bring not just the world-class on-court action, but the amazing atmosphere and excitement of the event itself into every Australian home.
“Nine’s coverage will be unique in that it will cater not only for the sports fanatic, but also the event lovers, speaking to a broad audience that loves and engages with the great game of tennis.”
Nine will also look to integrate its key pillars – news, sports, lifestyle, entertainment – within the broadcast to showcase all aspects of the festival of tennis:
Its Today breakfast show will take up residency at the Australian Open, providing 14 days of live coverage from Melbourne showcasing all facets of the event.
Nine’s Wide World of Sports will set up camp at the heart of the precinct, providing a pop-up experience that brings fans closer to the magic of sports broadcasting, closer to the experts and entertainers and the technology that makes tennis world-class.
The network will harness its women’s network, 9Honey, to launch a dedicated destination called ‘Summer Serve’, celebrating the very best of summer through story-led content.
Complementing the main channel’s event-style coverage, 9Now will be the gateway for fans to watch the tennis anywhere and at any time.
Nine will also cater for the sports fanatic through platforms like WWOS.com.au as it aims to make tennis part of the conversation 365 days a year.
Malone said: “When Nine secured the tennis rights, we promised a true cross-platform strategy, and together Nine and we will do that by relentlessly pursuing a ‘best seat in the house’ strategy.
“Nine’s coverage of the Australian Open will showcase the best and the biggest matches through our various pillars, and we can’t wait to bring that storytelling and Nine sizzle to the Australian Open – a celebration of food, music and kids.
Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia and tournament director of the Australian Open, said: “We are delighted to be working with Nine in a strong and strategic alignment between our organisations.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding to see our teams working closely together to design an exciting and dynamic tennis viewing experience for the Australian audience.
“Another key objective is to expand the off-court content offerings in food, family and entertainment – all vital elements that create the incredible atmosphere and capture the spirit of the Australian summer.”
Nine’s director of sales for sport, Matt Granger, said the 2019 Australian Open will also mark another milestone for the way the TV network connects marketers with their target audience.