According to the reports, Seven would continue to air certain Big Bash League (BBL) games in addition to home Test matches this summer, while Fox, a subscription broadcaster, will continue to air Test matches, the BBL, along with limited-overs international matches and other local events.
The new contract will reportedly start when the present one expires in 2024 and will last for five years.
The main candidate looking to acquire the rights was the American media behemoth, Paramount, which owns Network Ten. Paramount reportedly made Cricket Australia a $1.5 billion offer, which was more attractive than the ones put forth by the current Australian networks.
However, it is believed that CA affirmed neither Paramount+ nor its ailing free-to-air entity, Network Ten could match the present broadcaster’s reach. Around 1.3 million of Fox’s 4.4 million customers use the streaming service, Kayo, while Seven’s Test coverage has remained one of the most popular on free-to-air television this summer.
Although Paramount+ has not yet released its own statistics, market research expert Roy Morgan estimated in August that the platform had about 400,000 local subscribers.
In contrast to the Australian Football League (AFL), which turned down Paramount’s advances last year despite the fact that it was the biggest bidder, CA has chosen to ignore Paramount.
The new agreement represents a burying of the hatchet between CA and Seven after the network sued CA in federal court to have the final two years of its six-year contract terminated due to claimed violations.
Seven was believed to have been willing to abandon the complaint provided the present contracts were extended. Seven had been seeking records to ascertain whether CA had used reasonable endeavours to assure the BBL matched the standard of competing leagues, particularly the Indian Premier League (IPL).