The contractual spat between Seven West Media and Cricket Australia looks set to escalate after the broadcaster filed papers in court yesterday seeking access to emails between the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Foxtel and state governments.
Seven is attempting to get out of its four-year, $70 million a year broadcasting contract after COVID altered a number of terms including the number of games and touring teams.
The Nine-owned Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that lawyers for Seven filed papers in Melbourne’s Federal Court, its chief complaint being that Cricket Australia had given pay TV provider Foxtel exclusivity to games contra to the agreement.
The current one-day international tournament between Australia and the touring Indian team can only be seen on Foxtel.
According to the report, Seven is livid that Cricket Australia changed the Indian’s touring schedule which was supposed to start with a five Test series to which Seven and Foxtel would share the rights. The Test series will now be played from January onwards when, Seven argues, many people have returned to work.
Seven is seeking access to emails between Australian officials and their counterparts in India, as well as Foxtel executives and state governments.
It remains unclear if Seven are looking to terminate the contract or are merely seeking a cost reduction.
Cricket Australia and Seven are awaiting a final call from the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration tasked with determining what value Seven’s cricket rights should be worth in a summer of upheaval.
Apparently there is a clause in the contract that states the quality of the season must be at least the equal of the previous summer.
Cricket Australia has offered Seven a 20 per cent discount on its rights for this summer, something rejected by Seven and its legal team.
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