Channel 7 strikes deal with Fox Sports to broadcast Australian cricket

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Seven West Media and Foxtel has won the broadcasting rights for Australian cricket, in a six-year deal worth more than $1bn.

"This revolutionary deal will enable increased investment in grassroots cricket through our programs and further developing facilities, expanding new participation formats to grow junior cricket, supporting clubs and associations to grow the game for women and girls and more investment in the talent pathway to develop Australia's next generation of cricketers".

CA said in a statement on Friday that the broadcast and digital deal was worth A$1.18 billion over six years.

"We wish Cricket Australia and its new broadcast partners well for the future success of the game", the spokesperson said.

"The deal gives Seven over 400 hours of premium sport across the summer - more than double that of the Australian Open, at a significantly less hourly cost".

The deal, which includes broadcast rights for worldwide cricket matches, one day tests and the Big Bash League, comes after weeks of negotiations between Cricket Australia and broadcasters.

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

The agreement will also see Fox Sports and Seven show 43 games each season from the Big Bash League (BBL) men's Twenty20 tournament, and 23 matches per year from the Women's BBL (WBBL).

Nine was part of the bidding war for the rights along with free-to-air provider Network Ten, which will also lose its rights to broadcast the high-rating Big Bash League. "It's fair to say that the interest in our rights during this process has been unprecedented", said Sutherland.

"But secondly, its also good that we have a company with its roots in WA now a major broadcaster of the game".

"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.

"Network Ten and our BBL team led by David Barham revolutionised the way cricket is broadcast in Australia and attracted new, younger viewers to the game".

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Seven Network told AdNews it was unable to comment on cricket rights.

In recent years, Ten has played a pivotal role building the Big Bash League through its family-friendly brand of commentary after the competition had struggled to resonate in its earlier years on Fox Sports.

"What we are particularly proud of in this partnership is the focus on extending our broadcast coverage of women's matches. We are proud of everything we achieved with the BBL and WBBL".

If the deal is inked as reported, it will be interesting to see is how much impact simulcasting worldwide cricket on Foxtel will have on FTA ratings next summer. Australia's anti-siphoning laws prevent this scenario from occurring in this country.

AdNews will keep track of cricket rights develops as they unfold today.

"We will have more content on television over the next 5 years than ever before".

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