Upfronts: Tokyo, cricket and innovation lead Seven's sporting ambitions

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 23 October 2019

Seven will rely heavily on its reach throughout the Tokyo Games, its second year in cricket and further advertising innovation to drive its sporting success next year.

With just one hour separating the east coast of Australia and Japan, Seven has forecast that Tokyo 2020 will reach more than 21 million people on broadcast and up to five million on 7plus.

The network is confident in creating the single largest opportunity to reach Australians in the "history of broadcast television", surpassing Sydney 2000.

A combined 30 days of Olympic and Paralympic coverage, across 7 and 7TWO on broadcast and 35 live streams, and for the first time, captioning in multiple languages to choose from, on 7plus, will deliver valuable and niche audiences at a scale "never seen before".

Recently promoted head of sport for Seven, Lewis Martin, says the network is confident in not just The Olympic Games but also the network's sporting properties on either side.

“2020 will deliver more engaged audiences and more of the sport fans want. Our clear focus is to grow sport on Seven and to bring our partners along for the ride," Lewis says.

“Dynamic scheduling of AFL matches, the condensed and engaging BBL schedule plus the new strategic time out, more  cricket in November, and of course the unparalleled reach of Tokyo 2020 with our Australia-first multilingual captioning offering will deliver unmatched results for our partners in 2020.”

Reaching over 14 million people in its first summeri, 7Cricket returns this summer, with a condensed Big Bash League season delivering more primetime finals.

As part of the changes to the game, a strategic time-out has been introduced that will provide advertisers valuable solus breaks to integrate their strategic messages.

All eyes will be on Seven's coverage throughout the summer of cricket, with both the network and buyers hoping for improvements in the BBL ratings for this year.

Last year's first summer of Big Bash without Ten, which saw Seven and Foxtel split the coverage of the T20 league, took a hit in the free-to-air ratings, as some eyeballs were drawn over to the pay-TV providers coverage.

Coming off one of the most competitive seasons seen in 2019, Seven has promised its AFL coverage of the 2020 Premiership Season will remain "captivating viewing", despite also suffering a dip in the ratings, particularly the Grand Final.

The introduction of dynamic scheduling of matches enables flexible scheduling of matches, placing more of the biggest matches in prime time and creating more opportunities for Seven's advertising partners.

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