Rumours are circulating that Nine has pinched the rights to the Australian Tennis Open from rival Seven after a 40 year association.
Fairfax Media has this morning reported that “Nine Entertainment Co has made a successful bid for tennis rights”. Seven has the rights up until 2019.
B&T has contacted Seven for confirmation but was met with a “we’ll get back to you”.
Seven pays a reported $35 million a year to Tennis Australia for the rights to the two-week event in January, however, the Fairfax report says Nine has (or was prepared to) write a cheque closer to the $50 million mark.
The event proves a rating bonanza for the Seven Network with the men’s final – played at prime time on a Sunday evening – regularly in the most watched programs of the year behind the State of Origin and AFL and NRL grand finals.
Seven also uses the two-week tennis-fest to heavily promote its upcoming shows when the rating season kicks-off in February.
The news follows on from the current negotiations for the TV cricket rights. It’s been reported that Seven, Nine and Ten have all made bids to Cricket Australia.