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Australia-India Test Series Breaks Foxtel Broadcast Records While Seven Says Contract Termination Is Close

T
he Australia and India Test cricket series, which wrapped up last weekend, became the most watched ever on Australian subscription television, the Foxtel Group confirmed.

The fourth and final Test drew an average audience of 407,000 for the final session, as well as an average audience across the five days of 341,000, recording a 54% increase on the Australia and India Test series in 2018/19.

The Foxtel Group said in a statement the fourth Test became the most-watched Brisbane Test ever on subscription television, with a total average audience of 371,000 over 100 hours of live play, marking a total 43% increase on the average audience compared to Australia’s 2018/19 Test Series against India and a 33% increase on the audience for the 2019/20 Test Series against New Zealand.

Fox Sports executive director, Steve Crawley, said: “India’s tour has been one for the ages.”

“The quality of cricket has been outstanding, we have seen established stars at the top of their game, new heroes emerge, and our multicultural nation has loved it.

“We saw the ODI and T20 series break records, and after two months of cricket, it’s clear the nation could not get enough with new subscription television records set throughout the Test Series.

“At Fox Sports, we want to bring the best sports alive for fans with the best commentary and production.

“We have been blessed with a great summer of cricket, including the BBL, and these outstanding audience figures reflect record numbers of sports fans love what our team do and are choosing to watch on Foxtel and stream on Kayo,” Crawley said.

Meanwhile, Seven West Media has confirmed it is continuing with the process of terminating its broadcast contract with Cricket Australia and could be completed within two months.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Venture Consulting chief executive, Justin Jameson, who was named to provide an independent ruling on the value of the summer of cricket’s rights, was waiting Cricket Australia’s final submission regarding how it has upheld it’s end of the contract.

This dispute, which is being conducted through the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, is separate from the Federal Court case, where Seven has sought pre-discover, in an effort to obtain documents and correspondence between Cricket Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and Foxtel, concerning why the schedule of cricket was changed.

For the Australia-India Test Series, Seven still managed to record a 5% increase in average viewership compared to the 2018/19 Test Series against India despite the ongoing legal dispute.

Seven revealed the final day of the Brisbane Test drew a peak audience of 1.8 million, despite recording a ‘considerable drop-off in ratings’ for the Big Bash League (BBL) match that followed the fourth Test on the same day.

The dispute conducted through the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration is expected to wrap up by mid-February, while the Federal Court case is scheduled to resume on March 15.

Seven has reportedly expressed it is happy to walk away from the broadcast rights to Australia’s Ashes series against England next summer if it does not receive a favourable result through mediation and/or through the Federal Court.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Nine Entertainment Co., has shown interest in re-acquiring Cricket Australia broadcast rights, likely in an effort to further strengthen the new Stan Sport OTT platform, which is set to launch with Rugby Australia’s Super Rugby AU competition in February.