CA secures seven-year, $1.512 billion rights deal with Seven and Foxtel with BBL to cut

CA secures seven-year, $1.512 billion rights deal with Seven and Foxtel with BBL to cut

The BBL will be reduced to a 43-game season under a new A$1.512 billion broadcast deal that Cricket Australia has agreed with existing partners Channel Seven and Foxtel, for a further seven years.

As part of the agreement, confirmed on Tuesday, Seven will end their legal battle they’ve brought on a perceived lack of quality in the BBL over the past two seasons.

Confirmation of the new broadcast package is an important milestone for the board, including managing director Nick Hockley and Past President Lachlan Hendersonin terms of securing a strong financial footing for gambling in Australia.

The BBL’s reduction from its current 61-game season will reduce the duration of the tournament with the aim of completing it during the school holidays and it is hoped to improve the availability of Australian and overseas players.

All Australia men’s home Test matches and Australia women’s internationals between 2024 and 2031 will be broadcast on Seven and Foxtel, as has been the case since 2018. Foxtel’s streaming partner Kayo Sports and Seven’s streaming platform 7plus will also broadcast all these matches.

Significantly, the Australia men’s team white ball internationals will remain behind a paywall on Foxtel and Kayo and with Tests the majority of BBL will be available for free on Seven and 7plus.

All 43 games of the new simplified BBL and WBBL will be broadcast on Foxtel and Kayo, which includes 10 home and away games for each team plus three finals. Foxtel will offer 10 of these games exclusively behind its paywall and intends to show them during a Super Saturday series. Seven will broadcast 33 of the 43 BBL games each year, including the finals, and 23 of the WBBL games, including the finals.

“We are delighted to continue our broadcast partnership with the Foxtel Group and Seven under an enhanced agreement,” said Nick Hockley, CEO of Cricket Australia. “The quality and scope of Foxtel Group and Seven’s cricket output is first class and the exceptional service they provide to cricket fans has been a significant factor in our decision to continue this successful partnership.

The bidding process had also attracted interest from US company Paramount, owner of Channel 10, and former cricket broadcaster Nine.

Paramount’s Paramount Plus streaming service rolled out in Australia in August 2021 and is already in the local sports market as a broadcaster of A-Leagues and Australian Rules Football internationals.

But it is understood that CA felt that neither Paramount Plus nor its struggling free-to-air affiliate Network 10 could match the reach of current broadcast hosts.

Foxtel has a subscriber base of 4.6 million, of which nearly 1.3 million are subscribers to the Kayo streaming platform, while Seven’s Test coverage continued to be among free-to-air TV’s highest programs this summer.

Paramount Plus has yet to release its own numbers, but market researcher Roy Morgan’s August estimates put the platform’s local subscriber base at around 400,000.

CA’s decision to ignore Paramount comes after the AFL chose to reject advances from the American company last year, despite being the highest bidder.

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