The Nine Network has announced it has signed a five-year deal with Tennis Australia.
The $300 million deal, effective from 2020, will include broadcast, streaming, mobile, digital and social platforms for premier tennis events including the Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart Internationals, the Hopman Cup in Perth and the Australian Open in Melbourne.
In a press statement issued earlier today, Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine, said: “We are thrilled to have secured the rights to premium Australian tennis, particularly the Australian Open. The timing of tennis and the audience demographics it delivers are a perfect fit for Nine and its advertisers. We share Tennis Australia’s passion to grow its events, particularly the Australian Open, and expand its broadcast proposition in this country. To say we are excited to be part of that future is an understatement.”
The new deal brings an end to a decades old connection between the Seven Network and Tennis Australia, in particular the Australian Open. Since the 1970s Seven has anchored its summer schedule around saturation tennis coverage, with the Australian Open a ratings giant that Seven has used to pump up its new season shows with heavy cross promotion.
The new tennis deal potentially bumps cricket from prominence in Nine’s summer schedule, although Nine is still reported to be offering a joint bid with the Ten Network for the upcoming Cricket Australia rights deal.