Amid one of the most turbulent times in Australian cricket history with the ball tempering scandal, there is finally some exiting news! Foxtel and Channel Seven have seized the cricket rights from Channel Nine for an immense sum of $1.2 billion.
For the first time in more than 40 years, a different broadcast partnership will have the chance to bring freshness and a new broadcasting perspective to the game. Many Australian cricket viewers are hyped about the new cricket coverage as Foxtel’s CEO promised he will “revolutionise TV Cricket”.
When asked about the deal, Cricket Australia chief James Southerland stated: “This landmark partnership will allow cricket fans to have more access to cricket coverage than ever before.”
James added: “Cricket has been through a tough couple of weeks, but we know cricket is a resilient sport. We’ve got some rebuilding to do.”
According to the proud new rights holders, this TV deal is great news for everyone in the cricket world including bookmakers and legal betting sites in Australia, as it will give more exposure to the game itself. More coverage means more viewership, and definitely more thrill for punters who enjoy following the game from season to season.
More Info about the Deal
Let’s talk about the figures. Over the next six years, Foxtel and Channel Seven will shell out $1.2bn for cricket TV rights. That rounds up to a $200 million a year investment from both parties and covers broadcasting rights for all forms of the game. This includes one-day internationals, the popular test cricket, and the international championship Twenty/20 for both – men and women. With this deal, Foxtel will additionally cover every match Australia plays from the next – 2018/2019 season.
Every home Test cricket match and women’s international will also be broadcasted simultaneously on Fox Sports and on free-to-air on the Seven Network.
Patrick Delany commented: “Fox Sports understands the immense responsibility that comes with being the broadcaster of Australian Test cricket and we will take extraordinary care of this privilege, with the fan always at the heart of what we do.”
The Foxtel CEO additionally added: “In the same way we revolutionized television coverage of the AFL and NRL, we will do the same for cricket. It will be like nothing fans have experienced. We will treat the game with the respect it deserves while reinvigorating it across every form.”
According to The Australian, Channel Seven has committed to annual payments of $75 million in the next six years, or $450 million in total. Foxtel on the other hand, will spend $105 a year, and a total of $630 million for the contract’s duration. The investment shares clearly show that Foxtel is taking a bigger responsibility and with that, a bigger risk. That may be due the differing profit-making schemes that the companies have. Channel Seven focuses on the advertising model, while Foxtel makes its money via a subscription-based model.
“You’ve seen how Fox Sports have revolutionised rugby league, you see the way that Fox League leads the agenda and I think we’re going to see a similar kind of move in cricket,” Darren Davidson, The Australian’s media editor told Sky News.
What does Foxtel gain by investing more money into this record-breaking deal? First, it’s important to note that they are sharing the cricket TV rights with Channel Seven because of anti-siphoning laws. These laws require international cricket games to be streamed on free-to-air television. It is however, expected for Foxtel to have exclusive rights to some Big Bash League matches – given they own a larger piece of the deal.
What about Channel Nine?
Channel Nine has held the rights for cricket games played by Australia for the past 40 years. The latest 5-year deal with Cricket Australia worth $500 million was ended – as the reports stated a loss of more than $30 million per year on international cricket.
This however, doesn’t mean that Nine will untie the knots with cricket altogether. They still plan to keep broadcasting some events per their current deals in place. Channel Nine will cover the next Ashes series and the ODI Word Cup that will take place this year in the UK, and the T20 World Cups in 2020.
TOP IMAGE: The SCG. (By Dmmaus at English Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0)