Seven reveals digital plans for 2016 Rio Olympics

Seven executives Kurt Burnette and Clive Dickens detail the network’s digital plans for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Photo: Getty Images

With 3,250 hours of events set to be broadcast, Rio 2016 may be Australia’s most ambitious Olympics coverage to date.

In addition to the broadcast on the primary Seven channel, the network will also broadcast on 7TWO and 7mate, delivering up to 900 hours of Olympics live events broadcast across its linear TV channels. That’s not the extent of the Olympics coverage, however, with the network launching a digital platform. It will stream every Olympic event through its new app, Olympics On 7.

MORE: Mediaweek speaks with Seven sports Saul Shtein, revenue chief Kurt Burnette, and digital head Clive Dickens about Seven’s complete Olympics offer in this weeks Mediaweek magazine

Available on Android and iOS, the app will offer video on demand highlights, curated free content from the Olympic Broadcast Service, additional live channels, medal tallies, statistics, and a photo gallery. Altogether, the free version of the app will offer 300 hours of additional live competition streams not broadcast on television.

A paid option for $19.95 per month will unlock all of the Olympics broadcast coverage. With the premium service, a Seven viewer can watch 3,250 hours of live sports.

Seven digital chief Clive Dickens was enthused about the opportunity the app affords viewers, telling Mediaweek: “There is going to be so much choice with up to 36 different things to watch. It should capture your imagination, regardless of your interests. If you are into your BMX, athletics… There’s 3,250 hours of total live sports that can be watched. You would need to stay awake for about 20 hours a day.”

Kurt Burnette, Seven’s revenue chief, explained that the app represents “the evolution of where we’re going as a media organisation. The subscription side of the business allows us to have a better handle on the consumer because we’re talking about somebody who is paying to be a part of an incredible amount of value through every sport.

“This will be the most comprehensive and innovative event that has ever been delivered in Australian media history to the extent that it is offering everything from virtual reality – 200 hours of it – live streaming on radio, every single sport available, the Olympic Games on three free-to-air channels running. We’re calling it the future of TV content delivery and it is.”

Burnette believes that the Australian presence of SVOD services in Australia has softened the market to pay for streaming video.

“Certainly having Netflix, Presto, Stan, and Fetch TV has been beneficial. And Apple has obviously been here for a while as well. There are so many players now with subscription on demand services, a lot of Australia is used to paying for content if they see value in it. That was helpful in the decision process. For the sake of $19.95, we believe Australians will pay for that right,” he said.

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