Australian commercial broadcaster Nine Network has made two senior appointments to its sports commercial leadership team after acquiring exclusive domestic rights for all summer and winter Olympic Games until 2032.
Andrew Cann (pictured, left) has been named director of sales – Olympic Games and will lead the development of Nine’s Olympic commercial strategy and implementation across all platforms, providing opportunities for brands to activate within Nine’s Olympic coverage.
Cann most recently served as group business director in Melbourne for Nine, having worked previously in sports sales at Nine and with the commercial team at Australian football’s AFL.
Andrew Nicholls (pictured, right), meanwhile, has been appointed director of sales operations – sport and Olympic Games and will lead the sports operations strategy and implementation across the Olympics and all of their sports platforms.
Nicholls joins the broadcaster after running his own media and sports consultancy firm. He previously worked as director of sport-network sales and head of sports sales strategy at rival Australian commercial broadcaster Seven West Media.
Both will commence their roles in the coming weeks and report to Matthew Granger, director of sales – sport and Olympic Games.
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Granger said: “Both these appointments herald a new era in growing Nine’s mega sport marketing platform.
“Andrew Cann brings a depth of experience and passion in sport from both his roles at Nine and his time at the AFL. He is the perfect person to drive and lead our Olympic proposition.
“Andrew Nicholls’ media and sports pedigree is without peer. His experience and expertise across all elements of the sport media landscape make him the perfect addition to our team to assist Nine in enabling brands to make the most of our unrivaled content ecosystem.
“I am delighted Andrew will be part of team sport at Nine as we continue to unlock those advantages for our partners.”
Nine’s Olympic rights agreement, announced in February, covers the Paris 2024, Los Angeles 2028, and Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2026 Milano Cortina and 2030 Winter Games.
The broadcaster will provide coverage for the five flagship events across its television, radio, and digital assets as part of an AUD315 million ($220 million) deal.
The new agreement ended a long-standing relationship between the International Olympic Committee and Seven West Media, which provided coverage of the 2016 and 2020 Olympics in Rio and Tokyo, respectively, as well as the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and the 2013 Youth Olympics in Nanjing in an AUD200 million deal struck in 2014.
Nine has stepped up its acquisition of sports rights in recent years, becoming the home of tennis in Australia after securing all four grand slam tennis tournaments – the Australian Open, Wimbledon Championships, the US Open, and the French Open – which it airs across its linear channel and streaming service Stan.
The broadcaster also holds an extensive portfolio of rugby rights, including rugby union’s Six Nations European rugby union competition, the Autumn Nations Series, the Bledisloe Cup, and the Japan Rugby League One. It also holds rights to the NRL, Australia’s top-tier rugby league competition, in a deal running until 2027.
Nine will also show all of Australia’s games at the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup, held in India from October 5 to November 19, as part of a sublicensing deal with pay-television operator Foxtel.