Negotiations continue in tense Cricket deal
Nine & TEN have reportedly upped bid to $900m whilst FOX Sports is continuing discussions.
Nine and TEN have upped their bid for Cricket broadcasting, while FOX Sports, which took an offer off the table on Friday, is reportedly back in discussions.
FOX Sports is believed to be interested in a partnership with Seven, which is effectively seeking a replacement for the Australian Open is loses to Nine after next year.
Tensions surround the negotiations which have seen Cricket Australia’s chairman apologise to TEN for referring to them as “bottom feeders” whilst Foxtel director of sports Peter Campbell also hung up on Cricket Australia’s negotiating team on Friday.
The new bid, understood to be valued around $150 million annually, or $900 million over the six years of the deal, would see TEN retain the Big Bash League while Nine would keep the Test matches. But International Twenty20 and 50 over matches would switch from Nine to TEN under the new offer.
It is understood Nine has kept its original bid for Test matches, which was an increase on the previous deal.
Cricket Australia has been keen to split up the Nine / TEN joint offer. Sources said Cricket Australia has not engaged in a meaningful way with Nine and TEN at this stage despite the improved offer, which was made on Thursday. However, they noted things could ramp up this week and a deal could be done quickly.
Speculation suggests TEN resubmitted an offer to Cricket Australia on Thursday worth up to $150 million a year, including advertising. Seven boss Tim Worner recently resubmitted a bid, rumoured to have re-cut a bid after discussions with News Corp. Seven is said to be keen, but not at any price.
A FOX Sports spokesperson has confirmed, “FOX Sports withdrew from negotiations with Cricket Australia on Friday morning due to a lack of material progress over the preceding week.
“FOX Sports has continued discussions with Cricket Australia over the weekend, however there has been no reengagement of negotiations.”