Both Foxtel and Seven have engaged lawyers to help solve an ongoing Cricket Australia dispute, as both broadcasters seek a reduction in sports rights with CA declining to come to the table.
As reported on The Australian, sources close to Foxtel confirmed the subscription TV service is asking for a reduction in broadcast rights, going as far as to deliver a legal letter to cricket Australia. Meanwhile, The Oz is also reporting Seven has also hired a contract lawyer to help fight the dispute.
Reported on B&T on Monday, Seven is threatening to walk away from its $450 million broadcast deal with Cricket Australia.
Seven is arguing the expected lack of international players in the upcoming Big Bash League will result in a lower quality tournament.
There is also still confusion over what the summer of cricket will look like, with COVID travel restrictions expected to wreak havoc – as they have done for other sporting codes.
CA says, however, it will deliver a full summer of cricket, while also saying it has worked to find savings for broadcasters struggling from the pandemic. Yet, it will not offer a cheaper deal on sports rights.
Fox and Seven pay roughly $200m a year as part of a near $1.2bn contract they both signed in 2018.
Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delaney said at a sports conference on Tuesday all sporting codes are having a rough go, but said Fox will continue to “work through it with them”.
“We can see quite clearly the sports that are working, and those sports know who they are,” he said. “We did a great deal with the NRL to renew our relationship. I want more of the NRL. Our relationship with the AFL is really fabulous. I want more AFL. The motorsports are going well for us, and we like cricket.
“I think cricket is going to have a tough season ahead and we will work through it with them.”
CA has promised it will deliver a schedule soon, however says it can not do so until the government approves to bring across the Afghanistan and India teams, and then move teams around the states during the summer.
News reported Seven and Fox Cricket are due to deliver the first of three significant payments – $25m and $33.3m respectively – on September 15.
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