n an interview with Ministry of Sport, Foxtel commercial director – sport, Rebecca McCloy, discussed the broadcaster’s shift in focus from winter sports to summer sports.
McCloy recently spoke at the Ministry of Sport Women in Sport Summit 2021 at USC Stadium on the Sunshine Coast, delivering a key discussion on Foxtel’s approach to women’s sport and the organisation’s strategic direction.
On the focus of broadcast growth with cricket for the upcoming season, which is already underway with the T20 World Cup, McCloy said: “We are currently in a transition period from winter codes to summer.”
“Cricket is off to an early start with the T20 World Cup exclusively which is generating strong engagement across both our linear and streaming platforms.
“After the first 15 matches we’ve seen a 200% growth in viewers, compared to the corresponding stage of the previous tournament in 2016.
“This early start to our summer of cricket is the perfect precursor to the highly-anticipated Ashes series just around the corner in December.
“There’s nothing bigger in summer than the Ashes and our viewers have the ability to really immerse themselves in the action as part of our 4K UHD offering on Foxtel.
“It’s this premium experience along with our expert commentary teams and dedicated magazine shows that give us a point of difference and keep audiences engaged – Fox Cricket alone is expected to broadcast more than 1,300 hours of live matches across all formats which shows the breadth of our coverage,” McCloy told Ministry of Sport.
Reflecting back on the impacts of COVID-19 on the cancellation of international sport and how Foxtel has managed commercial operations as a result, McCloy said the flexibility of Foxtel and the evolution of digital in the organisation has helped them accelerate.
“For over 18 months we have woken up every morning with a change to a sporting event somewhere in the world, but the team at Fox Sports haven’t missed a beat,” McCloy said.
“They’ve done an incredible job of changing schedules, delivery paths and production and promotional plans at the last minute.
“In Australia, the key to successfully navigating this disruption is the level of collaboration and cooperation we have with our partners.
“There’s no doubt the past two years have been challenging due to the impacts of COVID but the adaptability of our business, products and partnerships has really accelerated as well.
“Kayo in particular has continued to evolve and innovate at a rapid pace.
“In the last 12 months Kayo has entered an agreement with Telstra to replace the AFL and NRL Live Pass, launched Kayo Freebies and built a bespoke Pay-Per-View platform to allow people to purchase Main Event UFC and Boxing fights through their account,” she said.
When asked about the innovations on the way from Foxtel over the course of the summer of sport, McCloy said: “In addition to our 4K UHD coverage of the Ashes, we will see the return of the Flying Fox camera, along with additional camera angles for KFC BBL (Big Bash League) Finals.”
“Building on the success of the first Kayo Original, Below the Bonnet, there will also be more original content coming to Kayo this summer along the introduction of Kayo Bites – five-minute highlights packages for people who want to catch up games quickly.
“We will also continue to enhance Kayo’s globally recognised user experience, which offers users innovative features such as SplitView, Key Moments, Kayo Minis and No Spoilers,” she told Ministry of Sport.