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Australia bags billion-dollar rights deal

Australia bags billion-dollar rights deal

Cricket Australia looks set to announce a $1 billion plus broadcast deal with Foxtel and Seven West Media, beating out incumbents Network Ten and Nine Entertainment.

Cricket Australia says the deal is worth nearly $1.2 billion over six years.

The network has recently taken up partnership with Tennis Australia, snatching the right from Seven for $60 million a year (against the $40 million Seven was paying).

Cricket's stalwart boss said the money will see the investment in grassroots cricket increase, as well as the "talent pathway to develop Australia's next generation of cricketers".

There will also be a new digital partnership between FOX SPORTS and CA's digital arm, Cricket Network.

Conceding defeat, Nine said it is "immensely proud" of its long association with the sport and wished Cricket Australia (CA) and its new broadcast partners well, while CBS-owned Ten said it is disappointed that its bid had been rejected. A partnership that enables us to further evolve our business model into a new future.

Under the deal with Cricket Australia, Pay TV provider Foxtel will have exclusive rights to some BBL matches as well as simulcast rights for live Tests and worldwide limited-overs matches, The Australian reports.

In doing so, it replaces Seven, which has been Australia's premier tennis broadcaster for more than four decades.

"Cricket has and will always be Australia's premier summer sport and Seven now is in the enviable position as being the first and only free-to-air broadcaster covering both it and the AFL".

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"Network Ten turned the Big Bash League into the television phenomenon it is today and one of the most popular sports in Australia, a sport that all Australians were able enjoy for free".

"In response to media speculation concerning cricket rights, Seven West Media Limited advises that it has been informed by Cricket Australia that it is the successful bidder with Foxtel", a statement posted to the ASX said.

"Cricket's been through a tough couple of weeks but we know cricket is an extremely resilient sport", chief executive James Sutherland said.

"We had planned to extend that innovation to other forms of the game".

Former captain Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for 12 months for their role in the plot to tamper with the ball during third Test in Cape Town. At the same time, we invested heavily in the Women's Big Bash League, broadcasting matches in prime time for the first time and raising its profile significantly.

Seven Network told AdNews it was unable to comment on cricket rights. "We are proud of everything we achieved with the BBL and WBBL".

"What we have been all about through this process is about arriving at a landing point that allows more cricket to be telecast and broadcast".

Another interesting sub plot will be to see the impact reducing the number of Big Bash League games on FTA television could have BBL attendances, which is among the top 10 most attended sports competitions in the world.

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