Nine is believed to have until June 3 to exercise its “last rights” clause and match TEN’s bid, estimated at $450m – $500m over five years, plus contra.
But Nine is also facing pressure from its two US hedge funds who want to float the company within the next 12 months amid a falling Aussie dollar.
CEO David Gyngell is believed to be weighing up the stark financial situation and the network’s long history as the cricket broadcaster.
TEN, which recently secured the Winter Olympics, is believed to already have the Big Bash rights, but is now poised to land the lot.
Meanwhile, Seven is understood to have acquired the rights to the A-League All Stars game against Manchester United and Melbourne Victory’s match with Liverpool, both to be played in July.
The deal, worth around $1m will see Seven screen the match on its primary channel, plus 7mate, online, and on tablets and mobile devices.
Update: Tim Worner, the CEO of the Seven Network, said: “Manchester United and Liverpool are two of the biggest brands in world sport and we are really pleased to be delivering their matches live to Australians everywhere and on every device. These are going to be huge events. They sold out straight away and we expect a big audience to be engaged before, during and after the games.
“Big, live sport – now available across not just our broadcast television platform but online and other tablet apps as well – underpins a lot of Seven’s strategy and these games certainly fit that bill. And, on a personal note, I am very happy to be working with Dave Gallop whose work I have previously admired from too far away.”
Manchester United v Foxtel A League All Stars, Saturday 20 July, ANZ Stadium, Sydney (7.30pm kick off)
Sydney 1830-2200 (7)
Melbourne 1830-2200 (7Mate)
Brisbane 1830-2200 (7)
Adelaide 1800-2130 (7Mate)
Perth 1830-2200 (7)
Liverpool v Melbourne Victory, Wednesday 24 July, MCG, Melbourne (8pm kick off)
Sydney 1900-2230 (7Mate)
Melbourne 1900-2230 (7Mate)
Brisbane 1900-2230 (7Mate)
Adelaide 1830-2200 (7Mate)
Perth 1700-2030 (7Mate)