Report: TEN nabs Winter Olympics

2013-05-13_0133TEN has won the rights to the Winter Olympics in 2014 according to media reports.

According to the Financial Review, TEN is believed to have paid around $20 million for the XXII Olympic Winter Games taking place in Sochi from February 7 to 23.

Those dates would fit perfectly with the start of  2014 ratings and help kick off the year.

The deal is believed to have been sealed separately from the 2016 Summer Olympics rights in Rio, which are still in limbo. Seven is rumoured to have offered $80m, short of the $120m sought by the IOC.

New TEN CEO Hamish McLennan has previously expressed his desire for premium sport on the network and TEN has reportedly bid aggressively for Cricket rights with Cricket Australia.

While the FinReview reports on a $500 million offer for the next five-year cricket broadcast rights, The Australian claims a  “$500 million cash offer are understood to be off the mark, with a complex deal including contra advertising on the table.”

If Nine retains the rights to internationals and Twenty20 matches, TEN could walk away with one-day internationals and the Big Bash League.

Nine is said to be harbouring doubts about whether to match TEN’s $500m bid for all forms of cricket as it contemplates walking away from the fierce bidding war.

Nine is still considering whether to exercise their last rights and is prepared to wait out the bidding timetable over the next three weeks.


  1. Actually Stephen is technically partially correct. None of the networks broadcast in “Full HD”. Full HD is 1920x1080i (actually p is better, but i is full enough).

    All the HD channels (except ABC News 24) now broadcast in 1440x1080i which uses a different shaped pixel. The bigger pixel means less bandwidth is used allowing for more channels to be added to a network’s suite (i.e. datacasting channels).

  2. I was told not long ago that all the HD channels are now 1080, even ABC and SBS. Maybe I was misinformed? And of course even on the HD channels we only get true 1080 HD if it was made in that formate and I’m sure TEN will be getting the HD rights to any sport it intends to air on ONE.

  3. Will be interesting to see how TEN goes with the Winter Olympics, and whether Foxtel can work out a deal to offer dedicated channels once again. I personally can’t see TEN going bankrupt with Nine managing to convince U.S. hedgefunds that they were worth saving and making a loss on. If TEN do go on the verge of bankruptcy they will simply follow Nine’s lead and sell their soul to U.S. hedgefunds. Or even better, they can ask old Murdoch to bail them out with the change he has in his coat pocket for a sizeable share in the company.

  4. Anti-syphoning rules mean that Foxsports couldn’t pick up the Pay TV rights until an FTA broadcaster was decided (or definitely ruled out). Now they can negotiate a deal with Ten.

    “It is believed the 2014 games will generate up to $10 [sic] in revenue for Ten”. That is some loss-leader!

    “Ten has stuggled [sic] to match rivals”. The lowly paid NZ contractors who subedit for Fairfax these days are on top form.

    Nine lost $20m and Foxtel $50m on London. Yet Foxtel managed to spin this as an award winning triumph while Nine, with millions of viewers and flow-on benefits, was ridiculed.

    The IOC has been forced to accept reality with this deal. They are still holding out and refusing to accept the only bid from 7 for Rio and will bundle it with the next lot.

    And you can see Nine’s thinking on the cricket, after Ten goes bankrupt we will regain the rights at a reasonable price.

  5. @ Stephen

    Can you clarify – I would have thought One is broadcast in HD for all programs that are filmed in HD. That would make it the same as Gem and Mate.

    Cannot wait for the primary channels to be the HD Channels as, at present, showing second rate stuff in HD is a complete waste of the spectrum.

  6. I believe the Winter Olympics have a long history of being a low rating, loss leader..

    Interesting Ten funding purchase from debt and knowing it will be a loss leader…add the Cricket as a debt funded loss leader and they have severe problems ahead well after they have finished broadcasting these off broadway sports !

    The only thing that survives will be the debt.

  7. Twenty mil for broadcast rights for a winter games? Seems a little light on to me. Nonetheless, there should be enough crashes and lycra in this for Ten to score some ratings points. Oh, and Oz has some pretty good athletes in these games too.

  8. I think this is a bad idea – Ten’s Commonwealth Games viewership was pretty underwhelming, and snow sports really aren’t a big draw card (well not for me anyway).

  9. I wonder how ten will broadcast the both the cricket and winter Olympics at the same time if they have the rights to both. I guess they will need to make good use of multichannels.

    Bit confused about the possible split between nine and ten for the cricket rights if they share?

    Your statement.

    If Nine retains the rights to internationals and Twenty20 matches, TEN could walk away with one-day internationals and the Big Bash League.

    When you say internationals for nine do you mean tests and twenty20.

  10. I really hope the Winter Olympic are showcased on ONE in HD with highlights on TEN in prime time! It would make the most of the HD as long as it’s not against the anti-syphoning rules.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.