Arbitrator Finds Seven Entitled To $5 Million Cricket Australia Rights Discount

n independent arbitrator has found Seven West Media (Seven) are entitled to a broadcast rights fee discount of $5 million from Cricket Australia (CA), according to a draft outcome.

The draft outcome was reportedly delivered to both Seven and CA by the arbitrator Justin Jameson from Venture Consulting and suggested the figure could rise to $8 million if the rescheduled Australia and Afghanistan matchup does not go ahead prior to the Ashes series next summer.

The report comes after Seven demanded a reduction in the range of $70 million to their $82 million yearly share of the $1.18 billion broadcast deal, which they signed with Foxtel in April 2018, due to changes in the summer cricket schedule due to COVID-19.

Seven also claimed the quality of the Big Bash League (BBL) was reduced due to Australia’s national test match team being unable to compete in the full season due to national team duties as a result of the changed schedule, and also claimed CA, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Foxtel conspired to change the summer’s limited-overs fixtures from January to November to weaken the value of Seven’s rights.

This latest news comes after Seven lodged a legal affidavit as part of a ‘pre-discovery’ action to view private exchanges between CA, Foxtel and the BCCI.

In response to this in November, CA’s acting chief executive, Nick Hockley, said: “With so much positivity around Australian cricket, it is disappointing that Seven West Media has again chosen to use the media to talks our wonderful game down.”

“CA has maintained all along our commitment to delivering a thrilling summer of cricket and on behalf of all involved, be that governments, partners, players and staff, I’m proud to say we are doing just that.

“We remain confident in our contractual position,” he said.

Seven’s CEO, James Warburton, told The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald the company will wait until after the official hearing in March in the Federal Court to determine whether it will retain its rights to next summer’s Ashes series and BBL.

“The processes haven’t changed and the expert is due to give a determination on the value of the rights for this season just gone in late February,” Warburton said.

“That’s our right within the contract.

“I think as a network we’re extremely dissatisfied with Cricket Australia, with the administration,” he said.