Entain aims for direct reach to Australian TV audience

News Team 2 months ago
Entain aims for direct reach to Australian TV audience

Entain, a prominent player in the global sports betting and gaming industry, has reportedly been exploring a strategy to gain direct access to free-to-air television audiences in Australia. This initiative was revealed by the Australian Financial Review, which reported that Entain initiated discussions with major commercial networks such as Seven, Nine, and Ten several months ago.

The primary objective of these discussions was to investigate the possibility of purchasing spectrum to establish a new platform for broadcasting greyhound and thoroughbred racing. This move by Entain is seen as an attempt to circumvent the proposed ban on gambling advertising.

The newspaper further reported that this initiative would not only disrupt Sky Racing’s dominance but also provide Entain with a platform to reach a wider audience and promote its gambling products. Industry insiders disclosed that Entain proposed an offer of $8m to the networks for renting a dedicated channel, with Ten reportedly showing the most interest in the proposition.

Although no agreement has been reached, sources suggest that Entain remains enthusiastic about the prospect. The envisioned racing channel would likely be integrated into the programming line-up alongside channels like 9GO, 7mate, or 10 Peach, drawing inspiration from the model established by Racing.com.

Racing.com, originally a collaboration between the Seven Network and Racing Victoria in 2015, served as a precedent. The issue of gambling advertising has sparked considerable debate in Australia, especially with industry giant Tabcorp choosing to voluntarily cease promotions on free-to-air television between 6:30am and 8:30pm.

Presently, Australian broadcasters face restrictions on airing gambling ads during live sports events aired between 5am and 8:30pm. In June 2023, the country’s Lower House published a report suggesting a phased implementation of a complete ban on all forms of gambling advertising over a three-year period.

This strategic move by Entain, if successful, could potentially reshape the landscape of the Australian broadcasting and gambling industry. However, it remains to be seen how this initiative will unfold amidst the ongoing debates and regulatory challenges surrounding gambling advertising in Australia.

Entain’s move to secure a free-to-air TV channel in Australia is part of a broader trend in the media industry. With the rapid growth of connected television (CTV) and video on demand, traditional linear TV viewing is on the decline. As a result, major TV networks in Australia are making strategic investments to capture the booming streaming audience.

Moreover, Entain’s initiative aligns with its strategy to build its own audience via dynamic content, with the overarching aims of educating, engaging, and entertaining viewers. This approach could potentially bolster the operator’s presence in the country, bolstering engagement and helping onboard new customers.

However, managing a dedicated free-to-air channel requires securing racing rights. Entain has previously struck a 25-year deal with New Zealand TAB, aiming to expand the audience and provide NZ racing with a more substantial presence in Australia. If successful, this new venture could break Tabcorp’s control over the broadcast of state-based racing and bring significant dividends.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that the regulation, safety, and use of consumer data is under scrutiny in markets around the world with the ongoing advancements in marketing technology. Therefore, any future developments in this area will need to consider these factors to ensure consumer trust and regulatory compliance.

Stop Press: the next Eurasia Summit takes place in Dubai between 25 – 27 February!

Share it :

Recommended for you
Jenny Ortiz
1 day ago
Lea Hogg
1 day ago
Lea Hogg
2 days ago
Lea Hogg
2 days ago