Seven Exits Swimming Australia Broadcast Deal
he Seven Network and Swimming Australia have agreed to terminate their broadcast partnership due to Swimming Australia being unable to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The deal was originally signed for five years from 2016/17 and was set to expire after the 2020/21 swimming season, with an option for a four-year extension until 2025, but will now end this year, after Seven gave notice of termination.
Swimming Australia chief executive, Leigh Russell, said both parties were disappointed in the outcome, but wish each other success in their futures.
“While we are disappointed with the outcome, we acknowledge that these are unprecedented times for businesses all over the world, including our own, and understand Seven’s position,” Russell said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Seven for the generous contribution they have made to the sport of swimming over the years.
“Through a strong working relationship with Seven, we have been able to bring swimming to Australian lounge rooms – not just in an Olympic and Paralympic year but every year in between and that has been vital to telling the story of our incredible athletes and coaches.
“We see the broadcast of swimming in Australia as crucial to our sport and the fabric of the Australian sporting landscape and we will continue to explore options within the media and digital landscape for opportunities to share and showcase our amazing sport, which literally millions of Australians are involved in.
“With 2021 Olympics and Paralympics around the corner, we are firmly focused on the future for our athletes, coaches and fans,” she said.
Seven Melbourne managing director and Network head of sport, Lewis Martin, said: “we have enjoyed our partnership with Swimming Australia since 2016 and have been proud to broadcast their events to Australians.
“We thank Swimming Australia for the great relationship we have had with them and wish them nothing but the very best going forward,” he said.
The termination of the deal comes amid Seven’s ongoing dispute with Cricket Australia over the fee of its broadcast rights agreement, of which they recently made a $10 million payment to Cricket Australia.