Channel Ten are bidding aggressively for all the international cricket TV rights from Channel Nine after missing out on the AFL, NRL, horse racing, A-League and V8 Supercars TV rights.
However, Nine still has the last rights of refusal – effectively, a chance to match any bid from rival networks to televise cricket.
Channel Nine may have lost the Wimbeldon Tennis TV Rights and Autumn and Spring Racing Carnival TV rights to Channel Seven, but Nine still holds the Rights to NRL and several other tennis tournaments.
The sporting brand is called the “Wide World of Sports”.
It has been 35 years since Kerry Packer secured the TV rights for Channel Nine to broadcast international cricket matches played in Australia.
But Nine can still retain the international cricket TV rights although both Packer and Tony Greig have passed away.
Nine and Fox renewed the rights to the NRL for $1.025 billion in August 2012, but Nine Entertainment is sinking under a $3.2 billion debt pile.
Nine and Fox has also recently announced a broadcast partnership with ESPN Star Sports to show the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia.
Nine is widely expected to retain the rights to international cricket it has held for 36 years, but much will depend on discussions in Los Angeles between Nine chief executive David Gyngell and the company’s US hedge fund owners.
Nine managing director Jeff Browne says that his network remains hopeful of retaining the Australian rights to international cricket, despite his debt-laden network edging towards the point of collapse.
Browne said that the network’s financial troubles would have ”no impact” on the negotiations. ”We are hopeful of retaining our current suite of rights,” he said.
Betting agency Sportsbet has recently opened a market on the negotiations with Nine being the favourites to retain the international cricket TV rights at $1.15, $5 for Ten and $9 for Seven.
I am predicting that Nine will retain the rights, however Ten will show the Big Bash.