The TV rights to Australian cricket have been secured by The Seven Network with a $1.2 billion deal in partnership with Foxtel.
This deal brings an end to The Nine Network’s forty-year dominance of the game and is a revenge of sorts after Seven lost the Australian Open tennis rights to Nine last month in a $300 million deal.
Seven has a six-year deal that will enable the network to broadcast all home Test matches as well as 43 “Big Bash” league matches, paying $450 million for the privilege.
Foxtel’s part of the deal cost $670 million, and grants all digital rights, simulcasts of free-to-air games and exclusive rights to one-day and T20 International games, plus 16 “Big Bash” matches.
Tim Worner, Seven West Media chief executive, said that deal guarantees a year-round audience for the network as it can add summer cricket to the AFL season in the winter. This should prove tempting for advertisers.
The cricket deal is seen as far more cost-effective than the one Seven lost out on for the tennis rights, as Worner explained that Seven now has the rights to about 70 days of top-tier sport, in comparison with the 14 days of the Australian Open.
“You just need to look at the number of hours we are getting, but also that so many of those hours are daytime hours but you get to charge prime-time rates for them.”
Foxtel will be creating a dedicated Fox Cricket channel as part of their deal.
This news comes at a good time for Cricket Australia, who are still reeling from the ball-tampering scandal that hit the sport last month. Cricket Australia is expected to receive around $1 billion over six years from the Seven and Foxtel deal.