While Nine celebrates its cricketing history with Howzat, Seven is reported to be chasing cricket broadcasting rights.
The Age reports Seven has met Cricket Australia at least a dozen times in the past year, discussing buying one or all of the free-to-air rights to the three formats: Tests, one-day internationals and international and domestic Twenty20 cricket. TEN is also tipped to be interested.
Cricket Australia’s seven-year deal with Nine runs until March. That deal was worth between $315 million and $350 million, but the return could double this time, in part due to the success of Twenty20.
Yesterday Nine Entertainment CEO David Gyngell boasted that Nine was the only broadcaster with primetime sports NRL and Cricket.
Nine has always had the exclusive rights to the three forms of the game, but any new deal may see up to three networks handling the different formats.
”The AFL is split over two channels, why not cricket?” one Cricket Australia executive said.
A Seven source said: ”This has been a closed negotiation for more than 30 years. The relationship with Seven and CA has probably never been as active.”
Rights will be negotiated over the Christmas- New Year period because of contractual windows with Nine.