Negative coverage about Nine's Olympics won't last

By By David Blight | 26 July 2012

While reports around Nine's Olympics losses have been plaguing the network, it has been suggested commentary should turn more positive once the event begins.

Rather than positive stories surrounding the network's coverage of the world's largest sporting event, the focus in the media has centred largely on Nine's financial situation in the lead up to the Games, with many reports focusing on the loss it stands to make on the Olympics.

Yesterday, Nine told AdNews that talks of up to $60 million in losses on the event were “horse shit”, after sources claimed that Nine chief David Gyngell was floating this figure to some people in the market.

But Cox Media principal Peter Cox said there is a strong chance reports will turn more positive once the Olympics actually begins.

“Before the event starts, there are thousands of journalists who want to write about the event but don't have anything to write about yet, because it hasn't started. It's why there was so much coverage of Leisel Jones being overweight.

“Once the event starts, I think you could find that next week the focus turns to the actual Games, and might become more positive. Nine is just caught up in the week before where everyone is looking to write something about the Olympics, but don't have an actual event to write about yet.”

However, it has also been suggested the consistent coverage about Nine's financial situation is having a negative impact on the network's marketing efforts in the build up to the event.

Fusion Strategy managing director Steve Allen said: “With the Olympics launching on Friday, it's strange Nine is so under the pump. You'd think they'd be looking at blue skies.

“All this market talk is not about the company's ratings, it has been about ancillary things, it has been about the company's losses, and this has detracted from Nine's marketing efforts in the lead up to the Olympics. It's detracting from the sales and marketing push.”

Cox said: “If reports are right that Gyngell is going out to the market and talking about a loss, of course this is going to make the company's financial situation come into focus, particularly in the financial press.”

A Nine spokesperson said: "At Nine we are excited about our Olympics coverage and feel confident the audience be with us from Saturday to watch the best athletes in the world compete."

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