There’s only one broadcaster winning the (long term) strategic game here.
For Nine this now isn’t a ‘must have’. Even the revised Nine Entertainment Co. & Network Ten offer $900m ($150m pa over 6 years) to keep cricket on FTA, would see Ten retain the Big Bash League while Nine would keep the Test matches...but importantly international Twenty20 & 50 over matches would switch from Nine to Ten.
Nine has already won the Australian Open Tennis Tournament & entering the Cricket negotiations with Ten means it shifts a significant portion of its cost base, freeing it up for more diversification & greater margins & still receive summer sport revenue.
Foxtel's aggressive bid estimated between $160 to $170 million per year for every game (or $800-850 million) may be viewed by Cricket Australia as a financial lifeline as SMH points out, but unless Foxtel & Seven West Media can deliver something (questionable & arguably detrimental to CA brand) like a knock out news lock out (Comm Games style), I’d question the long term strategy. Even if the bid wins, they ‘win’ the rights but inherit the largest cost base for a summer sport with no additional benefit for users and no significant audience gains for Cricket Australia. Right now, CA need an outcome which delivers improvement/stability for the brand. Taking cricket from FTA is a risk.
As News Corp play hard ball, Nine’s patience, holistic view of rights & willingness to collaborate should pay off here.
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