Seven has reportedly asked for the removal of an independent expert in dispute with Cricket Australia.
Earlier this week media reports claimed Seven may be entitled to only a $5m discount to its rights fees -well short of the $70 million reduction it is seeking.
The Australian Financial Review now reports Seven has fired off a letter to the Chamber of Arbitrators asking for Venture Consulting chief executive Justin Jameson to step down, or for his removal.
The article suggests a company within Mr Jameson’s group wrote and sent out a “prejudice paper” on the subject of free-to-air TV, streaming and sports rights. It argues he is conflicted.
“It would be impossible for any professional to apply an independent mind and interest to many of the contested issues in this determination, uncluttered by such ingrained and published prejudices in that professional’s house journal,” the letter said.
“Seven is shocked that on the very day he requested final comment on his draft determination in this matter dated February 23, 2021, Venture Insights published a paper entitled ‘Sports rights market hits an inflection point: new distribution players and models arising’,” the letter from Seven’s lawyers said.
“Whilst Mr Jameson might not have been named as an author of the prejudice paper, Venture Insights is clearly intimately connected with Mr Jameson personally.”
Seven has a $450 million broadcast deal with Cricket Australia.
Mr Jameson declined to comment.