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Ongoing Cricket Australia Broadcast Dispute: Seven Pays $10 Million

I
n preparation of an arbitration hearing over the broadcast rights dispute between Cricket Australia (CA) and free-to-air broadcaster, Seven, Seven has made a $10 million media-rights fee payment.

Seven and CA pay-television broadcaster, Fox Sports, have been in dispute over how changes to CA’s international and domestic cricket competitions have affected the value of the broadcast deals.

Seven has claimed CA has not provided enough clarity on its plans for the summer season of cricket, saying the talent pool available for the Big Bash League will be diluted due to changes to the national team commitments.

CA, however, has argued it will still deliver a full schedule of matches over the summer through both home international matches and the Big Bash League competition, despite not delivering a schedule of matches at this stage.

Seven reportedly pays around $82 million per year to CA for its broadcast rights in its six-year deal which is expected to expire in 2023-24, and Fox Sports pays over $110 million each year for the same time period.

The Brisbane Times reported Seven has now paid the full amount of what was owed to protect itself before an independent tribunal evaluates the value of the rights, after initially withholding rights-fee payments over the dispute.

According to The Brisbane Times, CA indicated it was willing to negotiate discounted broadcast deals with each respective broadcast partner in anticipation of the arbitration hearing next week.

The dispute has also seen Seven chief executive, James Warburton, label the CA administration as “the most incompetent administration I’ve ever worked with” as part of his criticism over the negotiations with CA over the summer broadcast schedule.