[quote]Fox Sports is set to launch an aggressive bid for cricket broadcast rights, potentially partnering with incumbent international rights holder Nine Entertainment Co.
The pay-television operator is keen to win back at least some exclusive rights to the Big Bash League, which it telecast before losing the rights to Network Ten in 2013, and may even simulcast some international matches and other BBL games with Nine.
Fox Sports needs this and I expect they will get their way putting up most of the cash. A simulcast of all Australian cricket with either Nine or Ten seems the most likely outcome. Cricket Australia will get another massive deal.
Test cricket played in Australia is required to be on FTA as per the anti-siphoning list.
Considering Nine’s recent comments about not willing to pay much more for their rights,a deal involving Fox might be the only way CA gets the increase in rights fees they’re seeking. That’s unless of course Ten places a significant bid to win all of the rights which would have happened last time if it wasn’t for Nine having ‘last rights’.
As I said before, Cricket Australia must keep international cricket on FTA and not follow the England and Wales Cricket Board which basically gave rights to all matches to Sky, otherwise we could have a generation of people growing up not able to see their cricket heroes on TV.
However, if Fox Sports is seriously interested in domestic cricket, it could bid to show the Matador One Day Cup and Sheffield Shield. IIRC Sheffield Shield has not been on pay TV since C7 closed in 2002.
If they also get the Big Bash. Fox Sports won’t show Sheffield shield or matador without the Big Bash. (same situation happened in the last rights negotiations).
I don’t think there’s any chance FTA loses live international cricket in Australia. No need to worry about that. Cricket is a premium sport unlike others on the anti-siphoning list that have lost live FTA coverage (V8 Supercars).
Interesting news, I also thought TEN and FOX would team up. One week you hear 9 wont pay more for the rights the next you hear they are keen to have everything including BBL.
Would be good if Ten got the full cricket rights for a change they have done a great job with the BBL.
With Ten now having a new major regional affiliate in Nine’s former major partner WIN Television (you can’t say to me that WIN wouldn’t want tests and ODIs back on their network after only a Summer or two?!), I would not be terribly surprised if Ten decides to make a bid for cricket that Nine currently has the rights to.
Having failed to pick up the AFL or NRL rights, I think it’s fair to say that Ten really need to make a bid for the tests and ODIs that Nine currently have. The ratings clearly show that Australia loves it’s cricket (without a doubt the one major sport that has a mass following everywhere in Australia) and that Nine generally rates well when the cricket is on.
On the flipside, if Nine were to lose all cricket rights…well, I think that very well just might be enough to push them to the status of a #3 rating network (at least during Summer) in at least some metro markets.
Im going to be the one to say it - but CA come into this with a particularly poor position to sell from:
Their biggest product (International Summer) is stuck with a significant restriction on broadcast (being the anti-syphoning list) - subscription television isnt going to pay a premium price for a product they cant have some level of exclusivity over
The last few international summers have not been good cricket and that has been reflected in the quality of the coverage and the need for Nine to have to refund advertisers for not being able to meet ad targets
The only other product CA have that is worth selling is the Big Bash - no one will be interested in the Matador Cup (or whatever it will be called this year) and the Sheffield Shield
Domestic Big Bash is on the up, thanks largely to the coverage that Ten have offered, going even partially exclusive on subscription erodes the games development
I dont think that a single free-to-air network are equipped to offer both the international summer and Big Bash tournaments, meaning that its likely that they will need two FTA deals
Any deal must include the womens game - its time that they got expanded coverage as well
The other side of the fence isnt great either:
Fox Sports arent going to bid on something that doesnt give them some international exclusivity - why would you bid on something that you share
Nine’s coverage has been pathetic in recent years - its not helped by the fact that some of the on-field action has been absolutely dower, but spending several overs (and using viewer feedback) to talk about a dirty-rotten pizza is just poor television
Ten have shown that on a budget it isnt hard to offer a difference to Nine, but can they continue to afford it?
Nine and Ten (IMO) are the only two FTA networks that can accomodate the cricket (financially and in the schedule), this limits any money they may get too
The difference is, though, in the UK there is a larger percentage that have ‘Pay TV’. I think Ten need to bid extremely competitively and try and secure the Cricket rights. It is the biggest national sport in Australia and would provide 3-4 months of coverage.