Seven puts Cricket Australia “on notice”

There’s a fair bit of negotiating via the press going on this year, previously over NRL rights and now over Cricket (Seven) and even The Voice (Nine).

This follows both broadcasters detailing hefty revenue drops this week.

The Age reports Seven West Media has told Cricket Australia that it may consider terminating its deal due to frustration at delays in the delivery of the upcoming season.

Both Foxtel and Seven’s next round of broadcast payments is due to be made on September 16. Seven’s deal is worth $450 million over six years.

CA chief executive Nick Hockley said he could see no reason why Seven and Foxtel would not have to pay in full if they produced the same volume of content as originally planned.

But Seven CEO James Warburton has declared quality to be just as important as quantity and the potential talent drain in the Big Bash League due to more players having to be quarantined for international matches is looming as a major issue.

“The quality obligations are paramount,” Warburton said. “Should that not be delivered we are forced to consider all our options including terminating the contract and we have put them on notice accordingly.”

Foxtel is also reportedly concerned and has on multiple occasions proposed a discount on the rights fees for this summer.

Nine is also out of the Twenty20 World Cup because of the postponement of the tournament. Nine was to be the free-to-air broadcaster of the 16-nation men’s event in October and November.

Meanwhile Nine CEO Hugh Marks has given quotes to Mumbrella around the costs associated with The Voice.

“If you look at shows like The Voice, which was a $40m cost in the schedule, as you go forward those shows get a little bit more difficult to hold onto. Over the next couple of years you’ll see some of those higher cost shows be replaced by some other initiatives which we’ll have.”

He also told The Australian that The Block is “a third of the cost per hour of something like The Voice”, yet delivered an equivalent audience.

25 Comments:

  1. 29/8 – Seven puts Cricket Australia on notice….to cut costs in 2021.
    30/8 – Seven announces it’s spending a fortune acquiring/producing The Voice in 2021.

  2. Just trying to drive down the price by trial by media, 9 and 10 must be grateful they didn’t win in the most recent broadcast rights.

    Why should 10 come to the rescue and broadcast big bash if 7 drop out, 10 built it up and then Cricket Australia dropped them to run to 7 and a bigger payday and with that comes expectations. They’ll have to drop the price which is really their own fault for taking the biggest payday at the detriment of the competition anyway (drawn out seasons etc to satisfy the broadcasters and higher fees).
    Biggest pile of money isn’t always the best of it destroys your product.

  3. The postponement of the NRL and the T20 WC 2020 has saw 9 lose $575 Million this year. Earlier this year, HM told that they will be cutting one-off Sports events like ICC events. Next years t20 wc will be in India & in 2022 will be staged in Aus. with the pandemic, I think this may be the writing on the wall for the ICC-events on 9.

  4. Big Bash was great on 10 but seriously unwatchable once 7 took over. Shorter season back on 10 would be the ideal outcome and 7 can think they ‘won’ something on their way to gutting their business.

  5. This kind of behaviour from 7 and 9 in regards to sports is terrible.

    It is not Rugby League and Crickets fault that there is a pandemic and TV networks trying to blame the governing bodies is atrocious.

    They overpaid for sport and use COVID as an excuse to try and blame others for their financial mismanagement.

    • No it’s not. They are a business and need to look after their shareholders. If the quality isn’t there why should they pay for lower quality products. Would you pay the same for a lower quality product?

      • Why should they still pay the same? Because it’s in the contract, that’s why.

        Unless there’s a clause in the contract requiring a certain number of international players to play, then Seven would have no case. Sure, they may have assumed that those players would be present, but their assumptions are their problem.

        They are just trying to play it out in the media (seeing as they themselves are the media) to twist the story to suit themselves.

        If they wanted guarantees of ‘quality’, they should have insisted on clauses in the contract explicitly stating what they wanted. Sure, they couldn’t have foreseen this pandemic, and therefore wouldn’t know to ask for these clauses, but the same could be said of CA, they could not have foreseen it either.

  6. Wonder who are “the bottom feeders” now CA?? The was surely one of the most stupid statements ever made from a CA executive to a potential bidder at that time. Anyhow CH 7 should eat humble pie and cop it sweet.

  7. Lets hope so that cricket goes back to Channel 9 so everyone gets to watch it without having Foxtel for the one day games. Freshen up the commentary team and it should get decent ratings again.

  8. At the end of the day Cricket Australia have destroyed what was a good competition in the BBL ,they got greedy and ruined it going from 35 games including finals to now I think 61 ,dragged out and it shows.
    I agree with 7 if they decide to cancel the contract ,maybe this will make CA lose their attitude.

    • battlestargalactica

      I think with 10 too you knew what you were going to get after a couple of years.. There was always at least 2 of 5 key commentators and the packaging was consistent. With 7 and Fox sharing games you don’t know who’s commentating or what the game’s going to look like. The viewing experience is far more volatile under the current rights.

    • No, Fox Sports is the host telecaster of the Cricket in Australia. Nine can’t get cricket back as it clashes with tennis and 10 wants to focus on I’m a Celebrity over summer.

  9. It did cross my mind that these announcements were purely to hold the upper hand for renegotiations. That being said, I do agree that ridiculously expensive TV shows will not be staying on TV screens for much longer – ratings for The Voice are average at best for a $40mil production.

  10. battlestargalactica

    It would be a brave network boss who would pass on the rights to The Voice and gift it to another network while it can still pull a million viewers.

    As for cricket both 7 and Fox I think are regretting the price paid and the cost to produce. Big Bash suffering identity crisis, Aussie team disappears half way through last summer to go to India. Bushfires and Coronavirus impact scheduling. It’s been a perfect storm.

    • Not if is not making money Viewing numbers mean nothing if a show running at at loss due to high production costs. Didnt Seven give away the Tennis rights for the the same thing. Looking at the recent financial revenue statements must be a lot of shows not making money

      • battlestargalactica

        I didn’t read it was making a loss, just they make less on Voice than they do The Block. There’s a big difference between making less money and handing a big established show over to a rival network.

        • I don’t think 7 or 10 would pick up the show even if 9 decided to axe The Voice. The format rights are very expensive, and both networks already have similar shows (AGT/Masked Singer).

          A big problem is the show’s audience is dwindling every season + over 40% of their audience is 55+ (not in the key advertiser demos) – not many shows can be revamped and be a ratings success like Masterchef did this year.

    • The ‘1 mill metro viewers’ sounds extremely enticing, however looking at the key demos The Voice was significantly behind Masterchef and even Big Brother had better demo numbers.
      It probably struggles to break even considering it’s such an expensive show to produce – if Nine decided to axe it I don’t think 7 or 10 would be that eager to snatch it up (they’ve got AGT/Masked Singer)

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