Cricket Australia has announced the launch of its own dedicated FAST channel, Cricket Gold, on Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service. According to Cricket Australia, “in- and around-the-game” content rights that were previously unused have opened up a potential new revenue stream and untapped viewership opportunities within Samsung’s free streaming TV environment.
Sporting bodies have become increasingly aware of the commercial value of their content in recent years. Australia’s major broadcasters now pay more than AUD$1 billion a year for the rights to live matches across AFL, NRL, cricket and tennis, and a review of regulations may lead to subscription streaming services competing for big sporting events. While the anti-siphoning debate continues, Samsung TV Plus has seen a rise in sporting bodies seeking innovative ways to monetise the content they already own – from game highlights and player stories to archive footage and docuseries – to reach a new group of fans.
Offering hours of archive footage, including classic matches and compilation programming, Cricket Gold follows other sporting bodies that have turned to the alternative distribution model. FIFA+ and the PGA TOUR channel launched dedicated channels on Samsung TV Plus earlier this year, offering viewers premium ‘around the game’ streamed content.
Ed Love, Head of Business Development and Content Acquisitions, Samsung TV Plus, said, “Many sporting bodies are sitting on a treasure trove of untapped potential – and FAST is the perfect environment to reach new audiences and re-monetise content. FAST gives fans access to great programming around the game and a way to relive the best sporting moments, all for free.”
Alex Spurzem, Managing Director Samsung Ads ANZ & SEA agrees.
“Our growing number of sporting channels is changing the face of FAST and offering sporting bodies and advertisers a new avenue to reach and engage with sports audiences,” he said.
Richard Ostroff, CA Head of Broadcast and Production explained, “Cricket Gold on Samsung TV Plus will provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase our archive on a platform that has a growing reach in established and new cricket markets. Our video archives provide a rich source of Australian Cricket history. We’ve invested heavily over the past few years digitising and cataloguing these precious assets so they can be made available to cricket fans around the world in the best possible condition. We’re pleased to work with Samsung Electronics as the first distributor of Cricket Gold and look forward to providing an outstanding experience for viewers. Access to our video archives for cricket fans will continue to expand as we look to enhance access for fans and celebrate cricket’s unique heritage.”