Video and broadcast are basically the same thing and the TV industry needs to move beyond the suggestion that there is a zero sum game when it comes to audience.

That’s the view of Clive Dickens, Chief Digital Officer at Seven West Media. Speaking at an industry event hosted by IAB Australia and Telstra this week, Dickens said Seven West Media is endeavouring to rebrand TV as ‘Total Video’.

“Total video is a really important part of our strategy,” Dickens said, adding that  “broadcast television is by far the dominant part of total video.”

Dickens argued that streaming television content, in particular live sport, does not cannibalise broadcast viewers but reaches a new audience.

“When you stream live sport you bring in incremental audience. [It] really reaches a different audience who are less likely to be broadcast television users in the first place.”

It’s not a zero sum game when it comes to audience and, owned and operated digital properties helps advertisers attract harder to reach, lighter TV users, Dickens said.

For example, the Australian Open Mens Final ranked highly for streams online and broadcast viewers.

“Powerful stories raise all of the boats. So not only did we have the highest television audience for 10 years for that tennis match —  4.4 million — what we also had was by far the highest streaming audience online at the same time because it was a powerful story. It wasn’t about people choosing to watch it on television or the mobile, or on their ipad or on their desktop, they were just drawn to that amazing, powerful story.”

Dickens presented data from the Telstra network to demonstrate the scale of the audience who tuned in to watch last year’s Melbourne Cup online.

The blue bar on the chart below represents all internet traffic on the Telstra network by hour on Melbourne Cup Day, 2016.  The red bar represents traffic on the Seven network where the station was streaming the race.

The red spike indicates the race that stops the nation also takes up the largest chunk of the Telstra network.

“Sport has an unbelievable opportunity to move the needle, change the game and really influence consumers,” Dickens said.

Seven West Media has six good reasons to be talking up its sports broadcasting credentials – the network has the rights to an “unprecedented” number of live sporting events between September this year and April 2018.

Kicking off with the AFL Finals, Rugby League World Cup, Melbourne Cup, Australian Open, Winter Olympics in Korea and finally the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, sport will dominate the Seven West programming.

“During five months we’ve got these incredible six events where we intend to introduce a huge range of new owned and operated products to Australia, which in a concentrated period is going to be an unprecedented amount of free sport available.”

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