Seven's Olympics coverage dominates metro TV as ad market shrinks

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 19 September 2016

Seven's Rio Olympics broadcast helped it dominate TV advertising in August, netting 51% of metropolitan agency bookings, SMI figures reveal. But the broader advertising sector dipped by 4.7% to $575.4 million, with only radio and outdoor avoiding year-on-year drops in spending.

Seven's Olympic coverage helped it produce a more dominant month than the 44% Nine achieved for London 2012. It also helped Seven's digital assets score a new PB - SMI says if Seven's Olympics digital channels were a stand-alone digital business, it would have been the eighth largest digital group in Australia.

"Apart from their impressive TV spend, Seven’s success in selling its digital-related Olympic inventory provides the market with the first clear indication of the value linear TV content can achieve online through their advertising video-on-demand (AVOD), or streaming sites," SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Schulze says.

"And as this digital advertising is embedded within traditional TV content the amounts can be added back to the TV ad spend results in the future, just as SMI has already done with the newspaper and magazine media.

"It’s another example of how content-based media are increasingly monetising their content online, which means the historic view of media in separate 'media silos' is rapidly becoming outdated."

The Australian's media editor Darren Davidson reports that Seven's Olympic advertiisng "haul" is estimated to be worth between $120 million to $130 million.

Market decline

While the Olympics have provided Seven win a huge boost, elsewhere the story was grim. The two largest categories both shrunk, TV (excluding digital) declined 2.6% and digital suffered a 5.4% drop, it's largest interim YOY decline.

Magazines (down 29.1%), newspapers (down 21.1$), and cinema (down 11.8%) also performed worse than 12 months ago.

Part of this could be due to advertiser reluctance to compete against the noise generated by the Olympic Games.

Schulze said another reason could be caution after the Federal election spending boom, although there was some lift in the government category from census ads.

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