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IOC President Thomas Bach visits the Tokyo Olympic Stadium in November 2020

Game On!

By Olympics, SEVEN

Key delegates meet in Tokyo

Assurances given that Tokyo 2020 – in 2021 – will go ahead

NBA Season makes way for Tokyo Games

Seven’s coverage to make history

IOC President Thomas Bach visits the Tokyo Olympic Stadium in November 2020. IOC

In the biggest sign of Tokyo 2020’s surety, key International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates including President, Thomas Bach and Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison have visited Tokyo in November.

Bach visited the Athletes’ Village and Olympic Stadium- both of which are complete and ready for athletes- describing the latter as “already atmospheric” nine months out from the Opening Ceremony on July 23, 2021.

The IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Japanese Government are:

Totally aligned in the full determination and confidence to make the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Paralympic Games a great success next summer… Together we can make these Olympics Games and the Olympic Flame the light at the end of the tunnel.

Thomas Bach, IOC President.

Originally slated for July 2020, the rescheduled Olympic Games will run from July 23 – August 8 2021, and the Paralympic Games from 24 August – 5 September 2021.

Still referred to as “Tokyo 2020”, the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be broadcast on Seven.

Seven’s coverage of the Games will redefine how Australians watch sport. The 30 days of the rescheduled Olympic and Paralympic Games are forecast to reach over 21 million Australians, even more than Sydney 2000.

Broadcast coverage on Seven and 7TWO – led by Bruce McAvaney – will be simulcast in HD on 7plus. On top of this, six bonus curated 24/7 channels and 35 live streams on 7plus will allow Australians to experience the Olympics like never before. 7plus will also offer captioning in multiple languages – an Australian first.

Crucially, all major 2021 sporting events including the 2020-21 NBA season have been re-scheduled around the Games, allowing the world’s best basketballers to be in Tokyo.

The IOC expects full participation from all 206 National Olympic Committees affiliated with the Games, regardless of their COVID-19 rates.

Australia’s support of the postponed Games was evidenced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt’s presence in Japan during the IOC’s visit.

They reiterated the importance of sport during the COVID-19 pandemic in a meeting with Bach – while also discussing Australia’s 2032 Olympic bid. They were buoyed by the IOC’s moves to secure and bear the costs of vaccines for athletes and officials attending the Games.

The IOC will undertake great effort so that as many (people) as possible – Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here (with a) vaccine if by then a vaccine is available… This makes us all very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympics stadium next year and that spectators will enjoy a safe environment.

Thomas Bach, IOC President.

Sporting events with crowds are already underway in Tokyo, and the IOC is committed to not just having fans at Tokyo 2020, but international spectators at that.

Japan began testing COVID-19 countermeasures at near-full baseball venues at the end of October 2020- including high-resolution cameras and sensors to monitor mask-wearing, carbon-dioxide monitoring devices and wind-speed measuring machines (to monitor droplet spread outdoors), plus apps to track movement.

In November an international gymnastics competition was successfully held at Tokyo’s Olympic venue, with strict COVID-19 measures in place such as charter flights, limiting athlete movement, sanitisation of all equipment, and frequent testing.

Olympic COVID-19 policies are likely to include a dedicated “Health Base” in the Athletes’ Village; and an Infectious Disease Control Centre to centralise COVID management throughout the Games.

While the countdown clock has been reset, the original Tokyo 2020 sport schedule remains unchanged, including exciting new events such as Surfing, Sport Climbing, 3×3 Basketball and BMX Freestyle.

But the global significance of the Games has never been greater. Yoshihide Suga, Japanese Prime Minister declared the successful staging of Tokyo 2020 will be:

Proof that the human race has conquered the virus.

Yoshihide Suga, Japanese Prime Minister.

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be broadcast on Seven, Home of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Home of The Olympics & Paralympics

Seven levels the score in 2020 ratings battle


The Seven Network today confirmed that it had won its 17th  week of the 2020 ratings survey year, levelling the score with Nine, with one week drawn. Commercial audience shares for the survey year to date are also both level between Seven and Nine at 37.6 per cent. The win comes after the first ever prime time AFL Grand Final, which secured Seven a record-setting 76.0 per cent network commercial share, the highest ever recorded by OzTam, and the hugely successful launch of SAS Australia, which debuted as the #1 entertainment show on Monday and Tuesday.

Seven’s momentum is a reflection of its strong performance across the second half of the survey year. From June 2020, Seven has led in Total People and all key demographics, including 25-54s and 16-39s. The success of Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife and now SAS Australia, combined with the AFL, Australia’s #1 winter sport, and Seven’s dominant content spine of 7NEWS, Sunrise, The Chase, Home and Away, Better Homes and Gardens and The Morning Show, delivered these results.

We lead every key demo since June, a huge turnaround from the first half of the year. The success of our new prime time tentpole strategy, with Big Brother, Farmer and now SAS, has proven hugely successful for us. Add to that the AFL, which has seen significant year on year ratings growth, and our unbeatable content spine, and it’s clear that momentum is with us at Seven. It’s going to be a tight race to the end of the year.

Angus Ross, Director of Programming

Prime time tentpoles Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife and SAS Australia have proven hugely successful on 7plus as well as broadcast. Big Brother was the most live-streamed show launch in BVOD history, and SAS Australia is already well on track to being the most popular show in 7plus history. The cumulative effect is that 7plus is secure as the #1 CFTA BVOD service in Australia, growing considerably faster than competitors.

We’ve been able to level the score in 2020 with a schedule significantly impacted by COVID-19 – we’re down two and a half prime time tentpoles and lost the AFL for two months. Imagine what we’ll be able to do in 2021 with a fully loaded prime time schedule, a full AFL season and of course, the Tokyo Olympics – set to be the biggest event ever.

Angus Ross, Director of Programming

Richmond win the 2020 AFL Grand Final

7.5 million tune into 2020 AFL Grand Final

Richmond win the 2020 AFL Grand Final
Dustin Martin with Richmond teammates as they win the 2020 AFL Grand Final

AFL Grand Final audience peaked at 4.09 million nationally

Biggest TV event of 2020

Seven scores biggest metro commercial share ever recorded – 76%

Biggest commercial share since Sydney 2000

As Richmond secured an unforgettable 31-point win over Geelong in the 2020 AFL Grand Final, Seven’s coverage reached 7.5 million people across Australia, while its average national audience of 3.812 million was 30 per cent upyear on year and the biggest Grand Final audience since 2016.

On a night when Dustin Martin became the first player to win three Norm Smith Medals, Seven recorded an average metro audience of 2.979 million, a whopping 36 per cent up year on year. It was also the biggest metro primetime audience on any network since Seven’s coverage of the 2017 Australian Open Men’s Final.

Seven also recorded a 76 per cent metro commercial share, the biggest ever recorded.

And on the first occasion the Grand Final had ever been held outside Victoria, Melbourne recorded a Grand Final audience of 1.583 million, up a staggering 59.8 per cent on last year’s Grand Final.

The AFL’s first ever night Grand Final saw strong audience growth right across the day on Seven, with the Grand Final Preview up 64.4 per cent year on year in metro areas, while the pre-match entertainment was up 92.3 per cent.

On a day when two of the Australia’s greatest ever sporting events – the AFL Grand Final and the Cox Plate – converged for the first time ever, Seven recorded its highest live streaming day (24 million minutes) since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, while it was Seven’s second highest total streaming day of all time (40.8 million minutes).

Seven’s coverage of the 100th running of the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and Bondi Stakes Day at Randwick was also a smash hit with viewers. The Cox Plate race averaged 600,000 nationally and 436,000 in metro areas, up 64.7 per cent and 86.6 per cent respectively year on year, while the coverage across the entire day was up 40.1 per cent nationally and 56.5 per cent in metro areas.

On 7plus, the AFL Grand Final recorded nearly 16 million streaming minutes and was up a remarkable 215 per cent year on year.

And every market’s average audience was up on last year’s Grand Final between Richmond and the GWS Giants.

In Brisbane, Seven’s audience of 383,000 was the biggest since the 2004 Grand Final between the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide and was up 20.7 per cent year on year.

The network’s average Sydney audience of 413,000 was up 11 per cent on last year’s Grand Final even though that featured the GWS Giants.

Rounding out a landmark night for Seven, Adelaide (265,000) was up 14.3 per cent and Perth (335,000) was up 17.3 per cent.

On a truly groundbreaking day, the highlights of Seven’s coverage included:

  • The spine-tingling opener to the Grand Final broadcast featuring Luke Hodge, which was fully integrated into the Gabba via the stadium’s big screen
  • The interactive analysis during the Grand Final preview that saw Cameron Ling step ‘inside the screen’ to demonstrate how Richmond could counter-act Cats spearhead Tom Hawkins’ influence at forward-50 ball-ups
  • Fans at home becoming part of the Grand Final like never before via a giant Toyota Fan Zone
  • Brian Taylor’s feel-good interview with Chris Maroni,the winner of the Toyota Finals Feelingcompetition and the proud owner of a brand new Toyota Hilux Rugged X
  • From the MCG, NAB AFL Auskicker Zev Roitman shared his infectious love of the game with Hamish McLachlan, before Mike Brady gave a rousing pre-game performance of Up There Cazaly
  • At Moonee Valley, Hugh Bowman set the scene for the historic 100th running of the Cox Plate with a stirring opener that looked back at some of the equine immortals who have won Australasia’s weight for age championship
  • Hamish McLachlan’s heartfelt tribute to the stars of the Spring Racing Carnival – the horses – and the incredible connection they have with racing fans
  • AND last but certainly not least Aussie rock legend Daryl Braithwaite’s inspired performance of The Horses that had fans at home singing along with the same gusto normally seen in the packed grandstands at Moonee Valley.

SAS Mission Accomplished!


SAS Australia launched as the #1 entertainment show and #1 25-54s nationally

1.194 million viewers

141% YOY timeslot growth 25-54s

It also put 7plus on top as #1 Live CFTA BVOD viewing yesterday.

The show also has taken social media by storm with the official hashtag #SASAustralia trending #1 nationally on Twitter last night; ‘Roxy’ and ‘Schapelle Corby’ trending too.

“With SAS Australia we’ve put the real back in reality television – it’s disruptive, different and packs an emotional punch – and the audience loved it. We look forward to sharing the journey of our killer cast of recruits over the coming weeks to see who’s got what it takes to pass the toughest test. Trust me – you’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Angus Ross, Seven’s Director of Programming

Preliminary Final triple-header kicks off one of the biggest weekends ever in Australian sport


Super Saturday of AFL, The Everest and Caulfield Cup

This weekend will be one of the biggest in Australian sporting history with Seven to bring fans a powerhouse Preliminary Final triple-header –  Port Adelaide v Richmond, Brisbane Lions v Geelong and The Front Bar Preliminary Final Edition – along with two of the Spring Racing Carnival’s truly iconic races, the Caulfield Cup and The Everest.

The LIVE and FREE action gets underway on Friday night with a tantalising match-up at Adelaide Oval between a rejuvenated Port Adelaide team looking to continue its fairytale 2020 rise and a battle-hardened Richmond side chasing its third flag in four years.

The AFL’s undisputed No.1 commentary duo Bruce McAvaney and Brian Taylor will be at Adelaide Oval for the big clash, and will again lead Seven’s coverage at the Gabba on Saturday night, when hometown favourites the Brisbane Lions square off against Geelong, with Chris Scott’s men riding high after their imposing 68-point Semi Final win over Collingwood.

Football’s leading commentary team will have every angle of Preliminary Finals weekend covered, with Wayne Carey, Luke Hodge, Daisy Pearce, Hamish McLachlan, James Brayshaw, Luke Darcy, MatthewRichardson, Abbey Holmes, Jude Bolton and Mark Soderstrom also featuring in the coverage. Both broadcasts will start at 7.00pm AEDT on Channel 7 and 7mate.

Saturday’s sporting action kicks off at 12.00pm AEDT with two of the biggest meetings of the Spring Racing Carnival – Everest Day at Royal Randwick and Caulfield Cup Day – on Channel 7, 7TWO and 7plus.

The world’s richest race on turf, the $15 million Everest (1200m), headlines a huge day of racing at Royal Randwick, while Caulfield hosts the coveted $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m), one of international racing’s most prestigious staying events.

And the weekend will finish on a high when Hamish McLachlan and Jacqui Felgate host the AFL’s night of nights, the 2020 Brownlow Medal count from 7.00pm AEDT on Sunday.

The Preliminary Final action gets off to an early start at 8.30pm AEDT on Thursday night when The Front Bar team puts the finishing touches on its own meticulous Grand Final preparations, with three-time premiership Cat Paul Chapman and Melbourne midfield star Angus Brayshaw joining Mick MolloySam Pang and Andy Maher at the bar.

Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented:

“This week we embark on the biggest festival of sport in Australian history. With the AFL Preliminary Finals, The Front Bar Preliminary Final edition, The Everest and Caulfield Cup, topped off by the Brownlow Medal count, Seven is the only place to be this weekend.”

Lewis Martin

Post-match on Friday night, Adam Cooney and Cam Luke will settle in on the Armchair Experts sofa, offering viewers their unique take on all the fallout of the Power-Tigers Preliminary Final before looking ahead to the Lions-Cats clash.

TV Broadcast times on Seven:

Thursday October 15

The Front Bar
Sydney 11.10pm on Channel 7
Melbourne 8.30pm on Channel 7
Brisbane 11.10pm on Channel 7
Adelaide 8.30pm on Channel 7
Perth 8.30pm on Channel 7

Friday October 16

AFL: 1st Preliminary Final
Port Adelaide v Richmond, Adelaide Oval
Sydney 7.00pm LIVE on 7mate
Melbourne 7.00pm LIVE on 7mate, 7.30pm LIVE on Channel 7
Brisbane 6.00pm LIVE on 7mate
Adelaide 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate, 7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7
Perth 4.00pm LIVE on 7mate

Armchair Experts
Sydney 11.00pm on 7mate
Melbourne 11.00pm on Channel 7
Brisbane 10.00pm on 7mate
Adelaide 10.30pm on Channel 7
Perth 11.00pm on 7mate

Saturday October 17

Spring Racing Carnival
Randwick – Everest Day
Caulfield – Caulfield Cup Day
Sydney 12.00pm LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus, 5.00pm LIVE on 7TWO
Melbourne 12.00pm LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus, 5.00pm LIVE on 7TWO
Brisbane 11.00am LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus
Adelaide 11.30am LIVE on Channel 7 and 7plus
Perth 9.00am LIVE on 7TWO and 7plus, 10.00am LIVE on Channel 7

AFL: 2nd Preliminary Final
Brisbane Lions v Geelong, Gabba
Sydney 7.00pm LIVE on 7mate
Melbourne 7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7
Brisbane 6.00pm LIVE on 7mate, 6.30pm LIVE on Channel 7
Adelaide 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate, 7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7
Perth 4.00pm LIVE on 7mate

Sunday October 18

2020 Brownlow Medal Count
Sydney 7.00pm LIVE on 7mate
Melbourne 7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7
Brisbane 6.00pm LIVE on 7mate
Adelaide 6.30pm LIVE on 7mate, 7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7
Perth 4.00pm LIVE on 7mate

Jacqui Felgate joins Hamish McLachlan to co-host 2020’s Brownlow Medal count


Seven’s special broadcast – LIVE and FREE on Sunday October 18

Long-time Channel Seven sports presenter and Footy Central host Jacqui Felgate will join Hamish McLachlan in hosting the AFL’s night of nights, the Brownlow Medal count, on Sunday October 18.

In a year when the Brownlow count will be held as a made-for-TV event, Felgate and McLachlan will co-host a special broadcast on the eve of Grand Final week, with Brisbane Lions midfielder Lachie Neale the favourite to be crowned 2020’s fairest and best player ahead of a star-studded field that includes Travis BoakChristian PetraccaJack Steele and past winners Dustin Martin and Patrick Dangerfield

Everyone’s favourite footy fans, Front Bar stars Mick MolloySam Pang and Andy Maher, will also join Seven’s broadcast to add their unique take on the night’s proceedings, while one of this year’s Brownlow favourites will be put under the spotlight in an interview with a hard-hitting team of NAB AFL Auskickers. 

In the build-up to this year’s count, fans are being encouraged to get into the spirit of the night from their loungerooms with #BackyardBrownlow, where the best pictures posted on social media will be shown on the broadcast as viewers help bring the traditional black-tie style and glamour to the game’s most prestigious night.

The AFL Mark of the Year, AFL Goal of the Year and Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award will also be announced during Seven’s broadcast.

McLachlan, who will host his second Brownlow count this year, is excited by 2020’s different format:  

It will be a different Brownlow count this year, not having a room filled with the players, but the significance of the night remains just the same. To be crowned the game’s fairest and best is life changing, so we will try very hard to ensure that prestige remains amongst all the changes we face. Lachie Neale and Trav Boak look to be the two for me, but this year has shown whatever you think, counts for very little. I’m really looking forward to working with Jacqui. Jac loves her footy, is a great live performer and will do a terrific job bringing to life the players’ stories.

Felgate says it will be a privilege to be part of football’s most iconic night as the first ever female co-host:

It’s been an incredibly tough year for so many, but Brownlow night will give Australians the chance to celebrate the very best in footy, both on and off the field. It’s an honour to stand alongside one of the finest broadcasters in the country in Hamish McLachlan, and to look back at the remarkable moments that gave us so much joy – when we needed it the most. It will be a Brownlow with a difference, but it will be something very special indeed. And I promise to keep everyone on time, there will be no excuses this year!

Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented:

This year’s count will be a Brownlow like no other. A lot could go wrong, there’s no mistaking that. We’ll be relying on a lot of technology and plenty of moving parts coming together on the night. But the broadcast will be in safe hands with Hamish and Jacqui, with a little help from The Front Bar team. And we can always rely on two things on Brownlow night – the gripping drama that just builds and builds during the count, and the prestige that’s instantly bestowed on the player who joins a who’s who of football’s greatest names on the Brownlow honour roll.

TV Broadcast times on Seven:

2020 Brownlow Medal Count

Sunday October 18

Sydney        7.00pm LIVE on 7mate

Melbourne   7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7

Brisbane      6.00pm LIVE on 7mate

Adelaide      6.30pm LIVE on 7mate, 7.00pm LIVE on Channel 7

Perth           4.00pm LIVE on 7mate

SAS Australia’s star line-up revealed


New series premieres Monday, October 19 on Channel 7

17 celebrity recruits to face the toughest test of their lives in new series – Monday, October 19 at 7.30pm on Channel 7

The Seven Network today announced the 17 celebrities set to take on one of the toughest tests of their lives in SAS Australia:

Ali Oetjen – Bachelorette

Arabella Del Busso – Glamour Model

Candice Warner – Ironwoman

Eden Dally – Reality Star

Erin McNaught – Miss Universe Australia

Firass Dirani – Actor

Jackson Warne – Poker Player

James Magnussen – World Champion Swimmer

Merrick Watts – Comedian

Mitchell Johnson – Cricket Legend

Molly Taylor – Rally Car Champion

Nick Cummins – Rugby Union Player

Roxy Jacenko – PR Queen

Sabrina Frederick – AFLW Star

Schapelle Corby – Former Bali Inmate

Shannan Ponton – Fitness Professional

Shayna Jack – Swimming Gold Medallist

These famous and infamous Australians have volunteered for the Special Forces selection course, a brutal and unforgiving process that will physically and mentally break down the recruits in a test of their true character.

Putting them through the gruelling course is an elite team of ex-Special Forces soldiers, who will make no allowances for the star recruits’ celebrity status, age or gender.

SAS Australia is not a game. There is no winner; there is no prize. Most recruits will reach breaking point and withdraw. Who has what it takes to tough it out to the end?

SAS Australia premieres Monday, October 19 at 7.30pm on Channel 7.

The series is produced by Screentime, a Banijay Group company, based on a Minnow Films format, for the Seven Network.


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