Rumours are swirling as to whether Seven West Media, who owns the broadcast rights to the Tokyo Olympic Games, is looking to sell the rights.
As reported in the Daily Telegraph, there are murmurings suggesting the broadcaster is trying to offload the postponed Games, which is now set to run in August 2021.
However, Seven told B&T there is no truth to the rumours.
Rumours Seven was seeking to offload the Olympics began in late April, with The Oz’s Media Diary reporting Seven’s bosses were looking to slash hundreds of millions in sports rights, including the cricket and Olympics.
It was reported SWM was looking over the fine print of its contracts with Cricket Australia and the IOC hoping to find clauses in its sports rights contracts and how the broadcaster could find a way out, considering the changes to scheduled events due to COVID-19.
It is understood Seven was due to pay the final installment for the Olympics rights on July 24, the day before the opening ceremony was due to take place. However, it was also reported that Seven believes it has ground to renegotiate the amount it pays for the games in 2021.
According to The Tele, insiders at SWM have said the COVID-19 crisis, mounding debt and an all-time low share price is forcing the media company to sell the rights. And, it’s being reported Channel 10 is in the running, helped by the backing of its US parent company CBS.
B&T contacted 10 for comment.
Meanwhile, TV Blackbox also suggested sources at Seven said the rumours are “totally made up” and that it “simply wouldn’t make sense.”
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