Under CEO David Gyngell Nine has matched TEN’s audacious deal worth around $500m, creating the biggest deal in cricketing history. But TEN wrests the Big Bash Twenty20 from FOX Sports.
Nine is understood to have signed the deal at 4:10pm this afternoon, 50 minutes before the 5pm deadline.
Nine will pay about $80 million a year, while TEN will pay about $20 million a year for the Big Bash Twenty20 tournament.
Pivotal to Nine’s deal were negotiations with Bruce Gordon for WIN affiliates in Adelaide and Perth. Nine will purchase Adelaide affiliate immediately and after the reach rule is expectedly dropped, the Perth affiliate. That deal is reportedly $350m.
Meanwhile WIN will increase its license fees for Nine content broadcast regionally, helping to offset the increased costs for the cricket. Nine will also save costs by streamlining other departments as a result of the acquisitions. TV Tonight understands WIN has increased its license fees from 33% of revenue to 39%, higher than the 30% Prime pays to Seven.
The outcome, once the reach rule is dropped under the next government, means Nine will become a truly national network, allowing Nine to directly address under-performing stations in Adelaide and Perth.
The cricket deal is not yet formally announced by Cricket Australia, tipped to take place tomorrow. But it is already detailed in media.
Executive Chairman of WIN, Andrew Gordon, has confirmed the sale of Nine Adelaide and the renewal of licenses with Nine.
“WIN, as Australia’s largest commercial television network has never been in better shape and the sale of Channel 9 Adelaide will enable WIN to take advantage of opportunities in a continually evolving media landscape both in Australia and globally,” he said.
“On behalf of the Gordon family, I would like to thank the WIN management team lead by Andrew Lancaster, who have worked diligently over the last few months to provide WIN with a new affiliation agreement that meets our business objectives now and into the future.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Graeme Gilbertson, his management team and staff for ensuring Channel 9 Adelaide has been such a successful part of the WIN Network over the past six years and wish them all the best for the future as they become part of WIN’s long term affiliate partner, Nine Entertainment Co.”
The outcome for Nine, with cricket rights and a new national network, defies observers who thought Nine would lose out after TEN’s mammoth bid.
But WIN billionaire Bruce Gordon may face some tough questions from TEN, after his deal with Nine stopped TEN from landing the cricket rights. Gordon is TEN’s largest shareholder.
This post updates.