Seven West Media looks set to walk away from its $450 million broadcast deal with Cricket Australia.
According to The Daily Telegraph, SWM has sent a legal letter to Cricket Australia informing the governing board it is cancelling the contract.
A Seven spokesperson provided B&T with the following statement: “Seven has no further comment to make but confirms the report.”
Seven is said to believe Cricket Australia is in breach of the contract, due to the value of this year’s Big Bash League being diminished, due to player unavailability and reduced crowds.
Fox Sports – also a Cricket Australia broadcast partner – is also said to be concerned about the upcoming summer.
While some have suggested this could be a tactic from Seven to renegotiate the existing deal at a cheaper price, The Australian has reported SWM is adamant about terminating the deal.
Cricket Australia told the Telegraph it remains committed to the deal.
“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 been reported that Cricket Australia now has 14 days to respond to Seven’s letter.
The matter looks set to go to court in what will likely be a lengthy mediation and arbitration process.