Foxtel and Seven West Media have reportedly won the partnership rights to broadcast the cricket, which will result in a swag of blockbuster Big Bash matches being shown exclusively on pay-TV.
A bumper $1 billion offer has reportedly secured Foxtel the broadcasting rights to Australian cricket, ending the Nine Network’s 40-year hold.
The six-year deal with Cricket Australia is yet to be confirmed by either party, but The Australian Financial Review reports Cricket Australia was in talks with executives of both Channel Seven owner Seven West Media and Network Ten on Thursday night to become Foxtel’s free-to-air cricket partner, as the pay-TV operator is unable to hold sole rights due to anti-siphoning laws.
According to the news agency, Nine Entertainment dropped out of the running on Thursday, and Seven West Media beat out Network Ten for the secondary rights.
The deal is likely to be announced officially today.
What the networks will be able to show
It is understood Foxtel will be able to televise to every ball bowled, and could potentially gain exclusive rights to an undetermined number of domestic Big Bash League games and one-day internationals.
Seven would then be able to show the remaining Big Bash and limited overs matches, and all live test matches.
Nine’s coverage of the cricket was reportedly costing the company $30-40 million a year, and it was advised to relinquish the rights.
“The existing cricket deal costs Nine circa $100 million per annum,” UBS media analyst Eric Choi wrote in note to clients. “We estimate the existing deal likely only generates gross revenues of $60-$70 million.
“We are not concerned that there will be a lack of interest for our media rights,” Cricket Australia’s broadcasting head Ben Amarfio told Fairfax Media at the time. “Live sport, and cricket in particular, continues to be a premium asset.”
Nine also secured a $300 million five-year broadcasting deal for the Australian Open, signalling its intention to move away from its signature sporting association.
In a role reversal to the impending cricket deal, Seven had held the rights to the Australian Open for the past 50 years.