Big Bash brinkmanship: Seven sends Cricket Australia ultimatum

Seven has reportedly sent a legal letter to Cricket Australia bosses in what is fast becoming a game of brinkmanship.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that earlier this week Seven informed CA them that they would begin to cancel the remainder of their $450 million deal, claiming that Cricket Australia is in breach of their contract. This leaves CA them with 14 days to respond, before a lengthy mediation and arbitration process.

At the heart of the issue is Seven’s concern that this year’s Big Bash League will be diminished due to player unavailability and reduced crowds. Seven has been pushing for reduced broadcast rights of $75m, something it liaised similarly with the AFL.

But CA believes it will still deliver the same amount of content. It say the letter was not a termination letter.

“Cricket Australia remains in ongoing discussions with the Seven Network about delivering a compelling summer of cricket,” CA said in a statement.

“CA is committed to fulfilling its contractual obligations to all its partners this season.”

It has already secured KFC as naming rights partner and new commitments with the rebel Women’s Big Bash League and the Australian Women’s National Team.

Cricket Australia believes Seven’s push to terminate their contract is due to the company’s debt and share price position after signing an inflated deal it no longer likes.

Seven’s next payment of $25m is due on Tuesday.

28 Comments:

  1. The ODI Big Bash theme is played annually in all cricket playing nations including Hong Kong, this type of annual over hyped commercial sports circus relies on semi-retired former international ODI cricket stars to keep the public interest going.
    This is the main issue for Seven who paid CA too much in these difficult times.

  2. At the end of the day the Summer of Cricket was dead and buried once 7 and foxtel signed the contract.The major factor for the lack of interest is the loss of the ODIs and T20 Internationals played here on FTA and the extension of the BBL.

  3. As with AFL (notably) and other sports deals with different broadcasters, Seven is aiming for a substantial discount off (at least) this year’s existing deal. As per the interesting piece in today’s Guardian Australia online though, apart from desiring a discount, it’s really not clear to most observers on what basis Seven deserves a discount on the deal its previous senior management willingly agreed to.

  4. battlestargalactica

    Giving part of the BBL back to Ten won’t fix it.
    They won’t recapture that formula again because the team that created it both on and off camera has disbanded, and it doesn’t work as well shared across two networks. It worked best as a stand alone product on a dedicated network that was passionate about it.

  5. … with CBS-10 and James-7 trying to outdo each other in their race to the bottom, all the ABC has to do is introduce a couple of reality shows and they could end up the number two network …

  6. You can’t blame Seven for the global pandemic affecting everything, but you can blame Seven for signing such an inflated contract, all due their desperation for a summer sport after Nine signed the tennis. Plus they sold their soul to Foxtel, leaving Seven with bits and pieces and nothing exclusive.

  7. Ha ha !! 7’s coverage is ordinary – Foxtel is the leader in cricket
    unfortunately 7 doesn’t share same broadcasting platform similar to AFL
    (2 different products) on top of $25m they still have huge production costs.
    Cant see 9 taking rights

  8. I hope if 10 end up in the mix they play hard ball, offer them half of what they were asking and last right of refusal on future contract renewals. Where are they going to go, 7 doesn’t want them and 9 now have the tennis.

  9. I agree with 7 & fox asking for a discount but I didn’t think 7 would actually terminate the whole contract! Maybe be they can just get rid of the Big Bash and keep the rest.

    Like work with another FTA, so they keep women’s international and men’s tests while 9, 10 take the big bash? Is this a possibility?

  10. Doesn’t surprise me really but yet Channel 7 will pay up for The Voice? (Not sure how much they ended up paying but I doubt it was cheap) It’s such a weird thing. I also think we may see channel 9 do the same with the tennis. These broadcasters are a business and unfortunately don’t care for anything but their bottom line.

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