While the Opening Ceremony is not until the early hours of Saturday morning Australian time, LIVE coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi has already gotten underway on TEN and tenplay.
TEN’s coverage when it fully kicks into gear will be comprehensive with more than 360 hours of live content from the Sochi Games on TEN and ONE, with total coverage of more than 560 hours across the two channels.
TEN is also delivering LIVE coverage across its dedicated Sochi app, which is available on iOS and Android for free. The app features eight simultaneous live streams, including all of the action live as broadcast on TEN and ONE, as well as six dedicated live streams straight from the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS).
In a clever deal, TEN has joined forces with content replacement technology provider Yospace to facilitate seamless and frame accurate replacement of the broadcast advertising in the live streams from the OBS.
All Olympic events will be available for catch-up in the app, with a unique highlights function that allows users to jump to key moments. The app will also provide access to live event results, athlete information, statistics and the medal tally, as well as a full schedule of events and coverage.
TEN’s content will also be available at www.tenplay.com.au, tenplay Xbox 360 and Xbox One, tenplay iOS, tenplay Windows 8 app and Sony Bravia IPTV app.
Network Ten Chief Digital Officer, Rebekah Horne, said:
“Our strategy is to bring Network Ten’s content to people anywhere, any time and on any device, and the XXII Olympic Winter Games is no exception.
Through our digital platforms, we will be able to offer Australians a viewing and engagement experience like no other. Users will be able to access exclusive and engaging content and watch live coverage on the go, never missing a moment of the action.”
While FOXTEL offered similar viewing options for its coverage of the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games, TEN is promising that its digital coverage will build on FOXTEL’s groundbreaking coverage in 2010 and 2012 (here more from David Barham, TEN’s Head of Sport talking with James Manning from Mediaweek).
Advertisers have backed TEN’s Olympic broadcast and digital strategy with Samsung Electronics Australia, PharmaCare Laboratories, Fiat Chrysler Group (Jeep Brand), McDonald’s Australia, Optus and Maurice Blackburn signing up to sponsor TEN’s coverage. This line-up of advertisers does show however that the Winter Olympics does not have the same corporate dollar pulling power as the Summer Olympics, as the only International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) sponsors to sign with TEN are Samsung and McDonalds. The lack of IOC/AOC partners signing up with TEN is a bonus for advertisers such as Optus and Fiat, as they can leverage the Olympic Games goodwill for their brands without incurring the cost of being a global or national Olympic sponsor.
TEN has a lot riding on its Olympic coverage as its tries to launch into the 2014 ratings year with a bang. The year has begun well for the network with strong ratings for its KFC T20 Big Bash League coverage.
We reported in June 2013 when TEN’s Olympic rights deal was announced, that TEN would be hoping for similar audience numbers as Nine received for its 2010 Vancouver Olympics coverage. In 2010, Nine’s nightly program Vancouver Gold averaged a metro audience of about 800,000 to 1 million viewers. TEN’s advantage this time around is that many of the medal events involving Australians will be broadcast LIVE in primetime, which should help lift the average audience watching the Games on TEN.
The scene is set for a fascinating Olympics and TEN’s extensive free-to-air TV and digital coverage is an exciting prospect for Australian fans of the Winter Olympics. We will have to wait and see whether audiences tune-in to TEN’s coverage, but we’re tipping that if there is Aussie gold TEN will have its best launch to a ratings year in many years.