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Rugby Union On Stan A Big Flop After Waratahs Flogged

Foxtel’s decision to exit the Rugby Union market appears to have been a sound decision and a poor one for the Nine owned Stan, who after spending millions spruiking their new $100M Rugby deal struggled to attract a lot of interest for their new sporting coverage,   after the NSW team the Waratahs Super Rugby team was flogged 41 -7 at the weekend by the Queensland Reds.

In Rugby Union heartland Mosman NSW, it was hard to find one person who had spent $10 signing up to get Super Rugby on Stan.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 08: Steam rises from a scrum during the round 17 Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Brumbies at Bankwest Stadium on June 08, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A search of the coffee shops at Balmoral Beach failed to find any punter who had forked out for Stan, and the one who did claim he watched the Waratah game Vs the Queensland Reds said he switch off “half way through because the game and the coverage was boring”.

It’s also been revealed that the majority of Super Rugby matches will not be aired in pubs and clubs around Australia with Mosman venues such as the Mosman Club, that normally attract a crowd not happy after a deal between Stan Sport and Sky Channel was pulled on the eve of the first game of the season.

Apparently a Tabcorp senior executive learnt Sky Channel had reached an agreement without the consent of its parent company, Tabcorp.

The Sydney Morning Herald which is owned by Nine Media a sister operation to Stan owner Nine Entertainment claims that the opening round of the season was watched by about 200,000 people across 9Gem and Stan Sport.

They claimed 150,000 of those viewers tuned in on Nine’s secondary channel and the other 50,000 watched via Stan’s new streaming arm, ChannelNews understands that a large percentage of this claimed audience was via a free subscription. It also follows a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign spanning billboards in prime locations in Rugby Union heartland and TV commercials across various networks for Stan.
Many in the industry are questioning these numbers.

Rugby Union is not the only sport that’s causing problems at Nine Entertainment.

The trouble-plagued Australian Open has been a big ratings miss for Nine, with its audience down by nearly a third from last year.

Across the five biggest capital city markets for the 13 days to Saturday (including the women’s final won by Japan’s Naomi Osaka), Nine drew an average daily audience of 366,000.

By comparison, the 2020 Australian Open, which was held in the tournament’s traditional January timeslot, attracted an average daily viewership of 522,000, resulting in a 30 per cent year-on-year drop for the host free-to-air broadcaster, according to OzTAM.

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