Seven West Media has won the rights to broadcast Cricket Australia (CA) matches from the 2024-25 season through to 2030-31 and has terminated its court proceedings with the sporting body.
The new agreement will see the 7plus streaming service broadcast games live and for free, as well as linear broadcast on the Seven Network.
Seven and CA also announced that they have terminated the ongoing court proceedings, with each side bearing its own costs.
Seven had sued CA and sought to terminate its previous $450 million TV rights deal over “multiple quality and standard breaches.” Seven had alleged that the Big Bash League (BBL) should have been equal to the Indian Premier League in stature and CA should not have scheduled BBL matches in competition with men’s internationals/
The terms of the deal are quite different to the existing deal due to expire next year.
Under the new deal, Seven will pay $65 million in cricket rights fees per year – a 13 per cent reduction on the current agreement. The company also said that the new agreement includes a 2 per cent annual escalator.
The BBL, a short-format club tournament designed to entice younger fans into watching the sport has failed to draw in audiences, is also set to receive a shakeup.
Seven has offered a revenue share upside on the BBL to Cricket Australia and the network will pay increased rights fees only after it achieves certain revenue hurdles on BBL matches. The network said that these revenue hurdles are expected to deliver positive BBL earnings each season and require a “material improvement” on the current contract revenue performance.
“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Cricket Australia until 2030-31. A comprehensive package of digital rights to the cricket for 7plus will ensure that for the first time, our viewers will be able to access cricket, live and free, in a way that suits them,” said Seven West Media managing director and CEO James Warburton.
“Our combined broadcast and digital rights for both cricket and the AFL means Seven and 7plus will be the home of sport all year round.
“I’d like to thank Cricket Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley and the Cricket Australia team for their continued efforts to drive cricket and, in particular, the improvements to the BBL. We look forward to working with Cricket Australia to grow Test cricket, women’s internationals and the BBL and WBBL in the years ahead,” he said.
Lewis Martin, managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, added:
“This deal is a win for Seven viewers and cricket fans, with the best Test cricket, women’s internationals, BBL and WBBL games guaranteed live and free on Seven and 7plus.
“Our enhanced partnership with Cricket Australia will take Seven’s summer cricket coverage into a new era, reach new audiences across our digital channels, and bring fans all the exciting competition, exceptional entertainment and world-class talent they love.”
The battle for cricket broadcasting rights had reportedly been quite fierce with Channel 10 and Paramount, as well as Channel 9, considering bidding. However, Channel 10 and Paramount said that no formal bid had been made for the rights and 9 entered negotiations late and did not pose a significant channel to the winning bid.