Seven expects Australian Open streaming to top previous year

Seven West Media is stepping up its battle for eyeballs with the streaming of more than 2000 hours of Tennis across the Australian Open, Hopman Cup, Brisbane and Sydney International tournaments and the Kooyong Classic.

Live sport remains a key differentiator for free-to-air television compared with the likes of Netflix and YouTube as traditional broadcasters face increasing pressure for audiences.

Expectations are high for Seven’s expanded offering on the tennis as it looks to build up momentum towards the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games in August next year.

Seven chief digital officer Clive Dickens told Fairfax Media the broadcaster will “significantly beat” the numbers it got last year when it streamed its tennis coverage for the first time.

In January, 1.2 million users streamed Seven’s tennis coverage across the month. The network said there were over 4.4 million streams, 80 per cent of which were live. Of that, 70 per cent of streams were on mobile and tablet.

“We will significantly beat that. We’ve learnt from that and made it easier for people to access the streams this year,” Mr Dickens said.

“A year in digital is a long time.” New website

Previously housed within Seven Sport, the metropolitan broadcaster will launch a new website 7Tennis老域名出售备案老域名, as well as new apps on iOS and Android. More announcements on what devices it will be available on will be made in the coming weeks.

Plus7, Seven’s live streaming service which broadcasts its linear channels online and launched last month, is already available on other devices such as Playstation, Xbox, Samsung Smart TVs and Telstra TV.

More than 300,000 Australians used the Plus7 service to stream to Melbourne Cup over mobiles, tablets and computers and Mr Dickens said the expanded tennis coverage would see many more people taking to the internet for their viewing.

“The Melbourne Cup exceeded our expectations and that was in three minutes. We want to create channel-based experiences on screens rather than limiting to broadcast or catch-up,” he said.

More than 2100 hours of tennis will be available online and at its peak viewers will be able to choose between 16 different matches at once.

Seven’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said the network is working closely with advertisers to adapt ads depending on screen size and video duration.

“What we’ve seen through a number of researchers is the most powerful pre-roll is 10 seconds,” he said.

New advertisers and sponsors for Seven’s coverage include Telstra, William Hill, Blackmores and Industry Super Funds and all advertisers, including returning ones such as Kia and ANZ have taken up broadcast and digital packages.

Seven will collate ratings data across all devices and following the conclusion of the Australian Open will make specific reports for each advertiser to show how, where and when consumers engaged with their content.

“The behind-the-screens data platform that we’ve built to collect all this data is really quite impressive. We’ve worked for months on getting this right,” Mr Burnette​ said.

“Consumers will be watching in many different ways and we’re going to be capturing audience and reporting it in a different way.”

The Australian Open presents a dry run for Seven and its Olympic coverage which will involve, at peak, 36 different live streams. The data collected from the two major events will also help build Seven’s programmatic advertising offer.

“We want to be data led in our actions. Events like the tennis give us very clear direction in what consumers are doing and we are able to share that with our clients more than we’ve been ever able to do,” Mr Burnette said.

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