Cricket Australia board director’s ties to News Corp raise eyebrows

Foxtel and Seven outbid Network 10 owner Paramount, but put pressure on the sports body by suggesting their rivals are stuck and unable to provide audience value for the deal.


Media sources, who asked not to be named because the talks are commercially confidential, said they were unsure whether a deal would now be reached by Christmas, with CA and potential broadcasters failing to agree on a number of key sticking points.

Paramount and Network 10 still in position to win CA Media rights auction as Seven and Foxtel so far unmatched Its $1.5 billion rights offer Test Matches, One Day Internationals, T20, Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League. But with most media executives on vacation at the end of the year, a deal is unlikely to be struck before Christmas.

CA Chief Executive Nick Hockley said on SEN on Sunday that he could not comment on the discussions but said the talks were “active.” “There’s a lot of interest, which reflects the passion for the sport across the country,” he said. “We’re working through this to make sure we get the best possible outcome … there’s no specific timetable.”

For Paramount, one of the main concerns is the additional production costs, which run about $40 million a year in addition to the broadcast deal. Media sources say Paramount and CA are still debating which games will be played behind the paywall or on free-to-air television network Channel 10.

For Seven, the sticking point will be securing digital rights to its free streaming service 7Plus and putting ODI ahead of the paywall (they currently live on Foxtel and streaming service Kayo Sports). seven, Who is suing CA for allegedly breaching its contract by lowering BBL’s quality and standardsalso called for shortening and modification of the game.

Hockley said the competition had improved significantly this year.

The masthead revealed last week that pay-TV giant Foxtel had privately agreed to let Seven broadcast live a major cricket match on its online platform 7Plus, provided it meant securing rights to the next edition. daily telegraph revealed on friday Seven have pledged to forego court action if they win TV rights.

However, Foxtel is unwilling to relinquish the exclusive rights to ODI obtained under the previous agreement with CA. Even if Seven and Foxtel find common ground, their joint bid won’t add to the existing deal, which is worth about $197 million a year. Seven and Foxtel were unwilling to pay more, but believed they could provide greater promotional power than Paramount.

Outgoing CA chairman Henderson has publicly stated he believes cricket is undervalued in the broadcast market, but a range of factors have limited the funding offered. All networks agree that CA is overvaluing its rights as it struggles to attract large audiences to the BBL and poor ratings for a test match between Australia and the West Indies (which returns next summer).

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