Nine torn on cricket rights. Seven scores soccer matches.

2013-05-24_0123There are suggestions Nine may walk away from Cricket entirely after TEN’s aggressive bid for broadcast rights.

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.”

Coverage details:
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)

Source: AFR, The Australian.


  1. It has been interesting to read the negative posts regarding the free to air networks and the way they televise “live” sport. Here in the west “live” quite often means “delayed”.

    What appears to be emerging in that free to air networks have been paying premium prices for the right to televise sport. Australian TV networks pay huge amounts for sports with “average or low” weekly ratings redeemed by the high rate cards when millions watch the Finals. Overseas the amount paid to televise sports is commensurate with the millions of viewers that watch on a weekly basis. Simply put, the free to air networks in their paranoia to get the drop on the other networks, have escalated the price of free to air sport to non sustainable levels. Why would you pay $60+million for the rights and coverage costs for the Olympic Games which air in a non rating period, when the same amount can be spent on weekly Aussie made series that add to your ratings throughout the year?

    I suspect our Free to air stations, like in the USA and Europe, would love to spread AFL, Cricket coverage etc across networks. For example 7 gets Friday AFL, 10 Saturday and 9 Sunday. They all get a piece of AFL action at a lower cost. Cricket could do the same. Hopefully by 9 potentially folding on all Cricket rights it may knock some sense into the out of proportion costs for the rights to telecast sport.

    Remember life is now much different with each network now being able to use their secondary channels for live sport and that should enable the free to air channels to be smarter. Having AFL on 7Mate live is working a treat for 7 here in the West. In previous years Friday AFL on the 7 was usually delayed and clobbered in the ratings by the ABC 8.30pm offering. Perhaps things are about to change with live and better coverage on free to air networks the norm. Foxtel will not take this lying down. Stay tuned!

  2. @ bill
    Strange things happen with some of ‘ 7’s ‘ so called HD quality transmissions and I am not only referring to sports programmes, because sometimes the M/bytes consumed of recording memory, equates to the much lower M/bytes consumed when recording non-HD channel transmissions( but of equal recording durations? ), but this could be because our local network channel is playing silly B’s for reasons only known to them.

    I hope that with all the competition between networks for these different sporting events, and citing David’s item and examples, regarding the possible move to “Coding of the Ratings” is not a forerunner as to how and if any one network ties up to many sports events, and insultingly ends up trying something similar with “Coding crosses to different sports ” to maximise prime time advertising, granted this may seem extreme but when has that ever bothered the FTA networks?

  3. Will Cricket Australia (CA) allow all day coverage for host cities as has been the case in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane on Nine for the past 7 years? Or will it be that after 2 hours coverage, that is where Sydney viewers now leave us for today for a ODI, or Welcome to Sydney viewers for the first time today, as in only seeing the last session of the Tests each day? Or will CA allow TEN all day coverage at long last for Perth & Adelaide, along with what Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane have been enjoying? Otherwise, Sydney viewers will be back to tuning into Wolloongong, Melbourne trying to tune into Ballarat and Brisbane trying to tune into Gold Coast or Toowoomba to see all day cricket again? Time will tell.

  4. @Guy
    Ten is also expected to bid for the rights to Tennis along with 7 and 9. Ten is the number 2 network at covering sport just behind 7. They have turned the network around ever since James Warburton got sacked who is now the CEO at V8 Supercars

  5. The thing is though is that if Nine do lose the Cricket rights who’s to say they then won’t go after the tennis rights instead? I know everyone is saying Seven is a slam dunk for them and i do think Seven will retain them but it won’t stop Nine going for them.

    I really hope TEN does win the rights to cricket because it is time for a change. When it comes to covering sport, Nine is now the network in the dark ages. Amazing how the tides have turned.

    Soccer on Seven? Interesting. Last time Seven covered it, it was a mess, mind you Seven have come a long way since then so maybe it will be better. Wait and see with this.

  6. Armchair Analyst

    @ Jezza, Pertinax, HardcorePrawn. The future of sports broadcasting is online even if you have to pay for it. I have mentioned this before on this site. NBL have which is a joint venture with Perform Media, Netball ANZ Championship ha the same deal for non australian and non New Zealand residents. This would be good for FFA and the A league and Socceroos matches. Yes you have to pay to become a subscriber but as i have also mentioned before you dont have to be ripped off by FOXtel. You only pay a season pass max $60.00 or so for ANZ Championship its even cheaper $20.00 or so. AFL does offer online coverage too costs $100.00 for a season pass. I think that however is powered by BigPond which ofcourse is Teltra’s online sports site.

  7. Yes it’s football because its the original football of the world in sports, not soccer.
    We just so happen to call it soccer, but for people like myself and @BigVic who understand football, then that’s its original name.

    AFL is Australian rules football, whereas soccer is football ! There’s all your explanations

  8. @Jezza
    Worldwide soccer is broadcast on Pay TV sports channels with the odd game of the week on public broadcasters like the BBC.

    If you want to watch The Premier League, The Scottish Premier League, La Liga, The Bundesliga, MSL etc. you have to have Pay TV sports channels.

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