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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Broadcaster Wants to Nix $310M Rights Deal with Cricket Australia

Cricket-Australia
Cricket Australia

Australia’s Channel Seven has filed court proceedings in an effort to terminate its $310 million broadcasting rights deal with Cricket Australia.

Filed in the country’s federal court, the Seven West Media company claims Cricket Australia has breached its contract. The six-year agreement, which covers Australia Test cricket and the Big Bash League, still has two summers remaining.

The BBL Twenty20, whose last two seasons were disrupted by the pandemic, is reportedly at the center of the dispute.

“The SWM proceedings will seek both a court declaration that Seven is entitled to terminate the MRA [media rights agreement] on the basis of material contract breaches by CA which were not remedied, and damages arising out of past breaches,” the broadcaster said.

Cricket Australia said it was “astonished” by the claim, adding that it delivered “two very successful cricket seasons.”

  • This year’s fifth Ashes Test, aired by Seven and the Fox Sports pay-TV service, averaged 1.43 million viewers across three days — one of the highest domestic broadcast audiences in the sport’s history.
  • Seven reportedly saw a 10% viewership drop for its 2020-21 season — the second consecutive year its BBL audience dropped — forcing the broadcaster to ask for a smaller rights fee.

Rough Relationship

In 2020, Cricket Australia received notice from SWM that the former breached its contract over the proposed summer calendar — rendering Seven unprepared to make its $17.2 million payment.

The proceedings are expected to start early next year.

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