Rumours are circulating that Nine has pinched the rights to the Australian Tennis Open from rival Seven after a 40 year association.
Fairfax Media has this morning reported that “Nine Entertainment Co has made a successful bid for tennis rights”. Seven has the rights up until 2019.
B&T has contacted Seven for confirmation but was met with a “we’ll get back to you”.
Seven pays a reported $35 million a year to Tennis Australia for the rights to the two-week event in January, however, the Fairfax report says Nine has (or was prepared to) write a cheque closer to the $50 million mark.
The event proves a rating bonanza for the Seven Network with the men’s final – played at prime time on a Sunday evening – regularly in the most watched programs of the year behind the State of Origin and AFL and NRL grand finals.
Seven also uses the two-week tennis-fest to heavily promote its upcoming shows when the rating season kicks-off in February.