Seven has confirmed a six-year agreement with Cricket Australia from 2018 through to 2024.
The Free to Air rights costing $75 million per annum includes:
- 43 of the 59 Big Bash League matches, including all marquee matches and finals
- All home international tests, including the 2021-22 home Ashes series
- Key Women’s Big Bash League and International matches
- The most prestigious individual prizes in Australian cricket; the Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark Award.
6PR radio this morning speculated that broadcast production would be produced from Foxtel, possibly with an introduction from Seven.
Chairman of Seven West Media, Kerry Stokes, said: “I am excited about having Australia’s only truly national game back on Seven. Cricket has and will always be Australia’s premier summer sport and Seven now is in the enviable position as being the first and only Free to Air broadcaster covering both it and the AFL.
“We are the premier producers of sports content in Australia, as evidenced by this year’s Winter Olympics, Australian Open, AFL and Commonwealth Games, and look forward to setting new standards for cricket coverage in the next six years.”
Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner added: “This is a great deal – for Seven, for our viewers, our advertisers, our shareholders and for the game itself.
“For Seven it means that for the first time in history, a single free-to-air network will be delivering the number one summer and winter sports – Cricket and AFL. This will underpin our transformational business strategy for years to come.
“The deal gives Seven over 400 hours of premium sport across the summer – more than double that of the Australian Open, at a significantly less hourly cost.
“For viewers it means the best produced Cricket, live and free on Australia’s number one Network. Seven has always been the innovator in sports coverage in Australia – from RaceCam in the 70s, to setting the standard in how AFL is covered, televising more Olympic Games than any other TV station, and introducing cutting-edge technologies and multi-channel coverage before anyone else.
“For advertisers it means one call will connect them with the mass audiences that Big Bash and Tests attract throughout the summer.
“For our shareholders, the agreement ensures we retain all FTA cricket revenues, with significantly lower costs, delivering the best return on investment.
“And for Cricket Australia, it means the unbridled support of Australia’s number one Network and the best sports partners bar none. We will be unrelenting in our efforts to lift cricket to new levels.”
The deal ends Nine’s long reign as the home of Cricket, however it still has current deals covering the next ashes series from England in 2019, the ODI World Cup in the UK in the same year and in 2020 the T20 World Cups to be held in Australia.
Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone told staff in an email, “The decision not to increase our initial bid for Test matches was not taken lightly given Nine’s strong connection to cricket, however when viewed through the prism of what’s the best decision for our business, it was straight forward. This is one of the situations we anticipated when we made the bid for Tennis and one we are comfortable with as a business. As I said a couple of weeks ago, we must secure sports rights at the right price and terms.
“Nine is immensely proud of our decades long association between Wide World of Sports and the game of cricket in this country. Nearly every broadcast innovation in cricket was first implemented by Wide World of Sports. We wish Cricket Australia and its new broadcast partners well for the future success of the game.”