nsucurrent.com April 24, 2018

Cricket Australia unveils mega TV deal

14 April 2018, 01:47 | Ruby West

Cricket Australia unveils mega TV deal

James Sutherland lauds Cricket Australia's new broadcast deal with Seven and Foxtel

The Seven Network and Foxtel have won the bidding war for cricket's TV rights, paying nearly $1.2 billion and ending the four-decade relationship between the sport and the Nine Network. It's understood Seven is paying at least $70 million a year under the deal.

It marks a significant increase from the AUD$600 million (£327 million/$465 million/€377 million) deal with Channel Nine, whose four decades of association with home cricket in Australia has come to an end.

Foxtel CEO, Patrick Delany said: " FOX SPORTS Australia will show every ball of every over bowled in Australia delivered with our trademark energy and creativity, on a dedicated new home, FOX Cricket.

"Network Ten and our BBL team led by David Barham revolutionised the way cricket is broadcast in Australia and attracted new, younger viewers to the game".

Nine paid Cricket Australia $500 million in the last rights deal but was caught napping when Channel Ten's secured the BBL rights in 2013 when it agreed to pay $20 million per year. A partnership that enables us to further evolve our business model into a new future.

Fox Sports, which is understood to have funded most of the deal, will exclusively show home one-day global and Twenty20 matches and the remaining 16 games of the BBL on a dedicated cricket channel. This partnership will bring more content than ever to Cricket Australia Live App and cricket.com.au users.

It is the first time a combination of the BBL and test match cricket will be broadcast on a single free-to-air TV network.

"In response to media speculation concerning cricket rights, Seven West Media Limited advises that it has been informed by Cricket Australia that it is the successful bidder with Foxtel", a statement posted to the ASX said.

The Big Bash moves from Network Ten to the Seven Network, who will show 43 games on free-to-air, while Fox Sports will simulcast those 43 matches and also broadcast the 16 games not shown on Seven.

"Cricket's been through a tough couple of weeks but we know cricket is an extremely resilient sport", chief executive James Sutherland said.

Seven Network told AdNews it was unable to comment on cricket rights.

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

In recent years, Ten has played a pivotal role building the Big Bash League through its family-friendly brand of commentary after the competition had struggled to resonate in its earlier years on Fox Sports.

"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".

"But secondly, its also good that we have a company with its roots in WA now a major broadcaster of the game". Australia's anti-siphoning laws prevent this scenario from occurring in this country. 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.

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