Report: Foxtel in hefty bid for Cricket rights
Updated: Foxtel takes offer off the table, and denies a media report.
Foxtel has reportedly made an aggressive bid for Cricket rights that would see it show all the Test matches, one-day internationals and Twenty20 games.
Fairfax is reporting the proposal would see free-to-air television networks given the option to broadcast test matches in simulcast, but under the condition that a good portion of Twenty20 and one-day games would be kept for Pay TV alone.
Foxtel is believed to have made an offer in the range of $800m – $850m, above the estimated $600m which free to air networks have offered. Whilst the move might impact the sport’s visibility, ticket sales and sponsorships, Cricket Australia may accept a lower bid to keep the game high profile.
With some exceptions, Twenty20 and one-day matches played in Australia with a senior Australian representative team are on the anti-siphoning list.
The deal represents a first challenge for newly-installed CEO Patrick Delany, who has had major coups heading up FOX Sports.
But Seven is also in the game for Cricket rights after losing the Australian Open to Nine, which in turn has not ruled out bidding for a sport with a 40 year network history. TEN also hopes to retain the Big Bash League it has built up into a formidable brand.
Against the backdrop of the ball-tampering scandal, there’s more plot turns than a soggy melodrama on Arena.
Updated via The Australian: Cricket Australia’s high-stakes talks with television networks over a new multi-million-dollar media rights deal hit a roadblock last night as Foxtel took its offer off the table after a breakdown in talks on Thursday.
Patrick Delany, chief executive of Foxtel, rejected a Fairfax Media report claiming the pay-TV operator bid $160 million-$170m a year to net Cricket Australia’s media rights. “The report is not true,” he said. It is understood the offer was significantly below the range in the report.