Channel Nine has conceded it won’t have any sport over the coming summer after it lost the cricket rights to rival Seven and failed to get the rights to the tennis a year earlier.
The two networks had reportedly been in discussions for some time regarding the possibility of Seven relinquishing the last year of its rights to the tennis to Nine.
In late March, Nine shocked everyone when it bought the rights to the Australian Open for $60 million, however, the deal doesn’t start until 2020.
Having lost the cricket to Seven, Nine was desperate to fill its sports hole and began negotiating with Seven to start broadcasting the tennis a year early.
However, Fairfax Media is today reporting that negotiations have broken down and Seven will broadcast both the tennis and the cricket over the 2018-19 summer period despite a clash in times.
According to Fairfax, Nine CEO, Hugh Marks, offered to take Seven’s final year of the tennis for $10 million, however, it was rejected by Seven bosses who apparently wanted closer to $60 million.
Nine now has a large surplus of cash to spend on programming over the summer period, however, what exactly that may be is yet to be determined.
There had been talk that the netowrk may resurrect the Big Brother format, however, Marks has denied the claim.
“We’ve decided that we are going to take the opportunity to commission some additional local programming, which is both an investment in the schedule for next year plus the overall schedule for the future because we get to try a number of things which may or may not succeed,” Marks told Fairfax.