Australia: 'Landmark' cricket broadcast deal

James Sutherland lauds Cricket Australia's new broadcast deal with Seven and Foxtel
Australia: 'Landmark' cricket broadcast deal
Author

14 April, 2018

Pay-TV network Fox Sports and commercial broadcaster Seven Network have agreed a landmark domestic rights deal with Cricket Australia (CA).

The new deal starts along with the 2018/2019 season.

Previously, academics that specialise in sports broadcasting told AdNews they believed the recent ball tampering scandal could impair the value of cricket rights by several hundred million dollars and that the $1 billion mark was unlikely.

The network has recently taken up partnership with Tennis Australia, snatching the right from Seven for $60 million a year (against the $40 million Seven was paying).

A Cricket Australia spokesman declined to comment.

"We wish Cricket Australia and its new broadcast partners well for the future success of the game", the spokesperson said. The collaboration ensures that CA's digital channels will continue to carry on-demand highlights of all cricket in Australia, while also giving Fox Sports digital rights for its platforms. A partnership that enables us to further evolve our business model into a new future.

Under the deal, it's expected Fox Sports will have exclusive rights to some Big Bash League matches as well as the Tests and limited overs matches.

In doing so, it replaces Seven, which has been Australia's premier tennis broadcaster for more than four decades.

With Seven securing some of the Big Bash, they will be faced with overlapping commitments next summer, with a final year left of tennis to broadcast leaving the network with the question of which sport gets put on a secondary channel?

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Nine was part of the bidding war for the rights along with free-to-air provider Network Ten, which will also lose its rights to broadcast the high-rating Big Bash League.

Under Australia's anti-siphoning laws, Foxtel can not hold sole rights to cricket and must have a free-to-air partner.

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany said a "very small amount" of cricket would be on pay-TV only and promised to "do for cricket [now] what we've done for cricket in 2011 when we invented the Big Bash League".

"But secondly, its also good that we have a company with its roots in WA now a major broadcaster of the game".

"What we are particularly proud of in this partnership is the focus on extending our broadcast coverage of women's matches".

Seven Network as part of the deal will show men's Tests, women's internationals, 43 BBL games, 23 WBBL games, AB & BC Medal Night.

"What we have been all about through this process is about arriving at a landing point that allows more cricket to be telecast and broadcast". We know Australians love and respect cricket and so do we. Seven has always been the innovator in FTA sports coverage in Australia - from RaceCam in the 70s, to setting the standard in how AFL is covered, televising more Olympic Games than any other TV station, and introducing cutting-edge technologies and multi-channel coverage before anyone else.

AdNews will keep track of cricket rights develops as they unfold today.


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