End of an era: Channel Nine to lose broadcast rights

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  1. s_h_a_f

    s_h_a_f Moderator

    Dec 26, 2011
    Cricket Australia set to cut ties with Nine in $1bn Seven-Foxtel deal

    SUMMER will never be the same.

    In a landmark change to the Australian sporting media landscape, Foxtel and Channel Seven have seized the cricket from Channel Nine for the first time in more than 40 years.

    It’s not just the Test and international limited overs scene they’ve pinched either. The News Corp-owned Foxtel and the Kerry Stokes-controlled Seven network will also seize the top-rating Big Bash League from Channel 10.

    Cricket Australia is expected to announce a new six-year deal worth a $1 billion at 2pm on Friday. Seven West Media released a statement saying it had been told by Cricket Australia it was the successful bidder, with Foxtel. “Contracts are being finalised but are not yet signed. A full announcement will be made on signing this afternoon,” Seven said.

    The Australian reports Seven has committed to annual payments of $75 million or $450m over 6 years, with Foxtel stumping up $105m a season or $630m.

    Foxtel will share the rights with Seven because anti-siphoning laws require major international cricket matches to be shown on free-to-air television. But it is expected to have exclusive rights to some Big Bash League matches.


    What it means for Nine’s commentary team is now the big question. The futures of Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Shane Warne, Michael Clarke and Mark Nicholas are now clouded — as former Test player Damien Martyn joked “I’m sure the phone is ringing at Foxtel and Seven”.

    Former Test player Ed Cowan tweeted it was a “massive opportunity to hear some new voices. Preferably under the age of 60, hopefully more diverse, and shock horror, may not have captained Australia.”

    But it also leaves popular Big Bash commentators Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting with uncertain futures at Channel 10.

    Nine has held the rights for matches played by Australia for the past 40 years but its five-year deal worth $500 million with Cricket Australia ended with reports it was losing more than $30 million a year on international cricket.

    “Nine is immensely proud of our decades long association between Wide World of Sports and the game of cricket in this country,” a Nine spokesperson said. “We wish Cricket Australia and its new broadcast partners well for the future success of the game.

    “Cricket will continue to be a part of Nine’s schedule into the future with current deals in place covering the next Ashes series from England in 2019, the ODI World Cup in the UK in the same year and in 2020 the T20 World Cups to be held in Australia.”

    A disappointed Network Ten chief executive Paul Anderson confirmed its offer had been rejected on Friday morning, after having televised the emergent Big Bash League for the past four summers.

    “We are disappointed that our bid for the cricket television rights was rejected,” Anderson said in a statement.

    “Network Ten turned the Big Bash League into the television phenomenon it is today and one of the most popular sports in Australia, a sport that all Australians were able enjoy for free.

    “We had planned to extend that innovation to other forms of the game.

    “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.

    “At the same time, we invested heavily in the Women’s Big Bash League, broadcasting matches in prime time for the first time and raising its profile significantly.”
  2. Rhythm

    Rhythm Cornered Tiger

    Nov 27, 2014
    Wow, that's big. Interested to see the change in commentary.

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