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.