The two weakest members of Australian broadcast media - Kerry Stokes' Seven West Media and the Murdoch family's newly merged Foxtel/Fox Sports - will add more than $200 million a year to their already high-cost bases in winning the new cricket broadcast deal with Cricket Australia.
A Nine spokesperson told AdNews the network was "immensly proud" of its decades long association between the Wide World of Sports and cricket.
While Nine's interest in the sport after 40 years has host broadcaster appeared to be waning as it shifted its focus to tennis, stealing the sport from long-term incumbent Seven just a fortnight ago in a $300 million deal, Ten said it was disappointed its bid did not measure up.
The network has recently taken up partnership with Tennis Australia, snatching the right from Seven for $60 million a year (against the $40 million Seven was paying).
Nine said while it would not have Australian worldwide matches from next summer, the rights loss would have no impact on its 2018 financial results.
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Under the deal, Foxtel will also broadcast the 50-over domestic competition, Sheffield Shield final and selected tour matches as part of a 24-hour cricket channel over summer. A partnership that enables us to further evolve our business model into a new future.
The two networks with air the women's worldwide matches and 23 women's Big Bash League (WBBL) matches, while Cricket Australia will live stream the remaining WBBL matches on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App. A partnership built on common values and vision to mutually build the game and Nine's business as we connect with more audiences the way they choose.
"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".
"Cricket's been through a tough couple of weeks but we know cricket is an extremely resilient sport", chief executive James Sutherland said.
"But secondly, its also good that we have a company with its roots in WA now a major broadcaster of the game".
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The negotiations continued amidst the recent ball-tampering scandal that engulfed Cricket Australia and led to 12-month bans of the team's captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner. 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.
Seven Network as part of the deal will show men's Tests, women's internationals, 43 BBL games, 23 WBBL games, AB & BC Medal Night. AdNews has approached Foxtel for comment.
"Our honest thanks also to Network Ten for their role in taking the Big Bash League to a new level, and for so willingly providing a platform to launch and grow the Women's Big Bash League".
"What we have been all about through this process is about arriving at a landing point that allows more cricket to be telecast and broadcast". Australia's anti-siphoning laws prevent this scenario from occurring in this country.
"We will have more content on television over the next 5 years than ever before".
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