Nine urged to consider ending cricket deal



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    The Nine Network is being urged by bankers to end its long-time cricket coverage due to estimated $30-40 million yearly losses, placing Cricket Australia under a financial cloud.

    The broadcaster has a five-year deal worth $500 million with CA which expires next year and is negotiating a new contract for 2018-2023.

    But financial analysts UBS believe Nine should consider walking away from negotiations if a better deal isn’t tabled.

    “The existing cricket deal costs Nine circa $100 million per annum,” UBS analyst in note to clients.

    “We estimate the existing deal likely only generates gross revenues of $60-$70 million.”

    “We think it would seem logical for Nine to enter negotiations with the following mindset: i) more cricket content at no additional cost, or ii) to step away from the cricket contract.”

    The former option could include Network Ten relinquishing rights to the Big Bash League for CA to include the popular domestic Twenty20 competition under the new deal.

    In terms of its international cricket product, CA is confident it’ll find a buyer.

    “We are not concerned that there will be a lack of interest for our media rights,” the body’s broadcasting manager Ben Amarfio told Fairfax Media.

    “Live sport, and cricket in particular, continues to be a premium asset.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (37)

    • April 26th 2017 @ 8:27am
      rock said | April 26th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      Seems this ‘report’ has surfaced as negotiations are just about to begin, interesting timing isn’t it…………..

      • April 26th 2017 @ 9:05am
        Chui said | April 26th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Exactly. All too coincidental.

        ‘Bankers’. There’s that rhyming slang again.

    • April 26th 2017 @ 8:39am
      JohnB said | April 26th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      It’s all just to raise the hopes of long-suffering viewers that 9 might lose the coverage allowing someone else to take it up. It could only be an improvement.

      • April 26th 2017 @ 8:45am
        Basil said | April 26th 2017 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        Yes, and I’m looking forward to Howie commentating Test cricket too…

        • April 26th 2017 @ 12:35pm
          Pope Paul VII said | April 26th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

          Love Howie. He singlehandedly hyped up James “The Missile” Magnusson into believing the he was god’s gift to swimming and went on to bomb spectacularly. Howie is never down and a fine foil for June, Punter and Gilly. It’s the test commentary dream team. Plus the sport journo in Howie would be a nice change from Mark Nicholas having to suck up to our Aussie ex captains and friends club..

    • April 26th 2017 @ 8:42am
      Cleveland said | April 26th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Obviously Nine want the Big Bash as part of the package in the deal…and that would be a shame. Ten have done a very good job developing the Big Bash and its new market. It is also refreshing to watch some form of cricket without the nine commentary team interrupting with their boy’s blabber.

      • Roar Guru

        April 26th 2017 @ 10:07am
        JamesH said | April 26th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

        The Ten blabber is no better than the Nine blabber. The only thing the BBL commentary has going for it is Ponting. Gilly and Mel are ok I suppose. Waugh, Howie and Flem are just as bad as Slats, Pup and Heals.

        • April 29th 2017 @ 10:33am
          Don Freo said | April 29th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          Mel has left…Flem is fantastic and Howie brings joie de vivre…joie de cricket.

          Junior?…He is Channel 9 in style.

    • Roar Guru

      April 26th 2017 @ 9:30am
      Joey Johns said | April 26th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      This media analyst is willfully ignoring the introduction of Day-Night Tests which ticks the “Additional content at no extra cost” box

      With 1 D/N Ashes test and 2 D/N tests almost guaranteed every year thereafter, the broadcasters are looking at 3 “Perth Tests” a year -where the evening sessions broadcast in primetime to the eastern seaboard are regularly in the top20 watched programs yearly.

      There’s what,10 ODI games +3-5 T20I’s a season? 8-10 extra prime-time sessions of test cricket is a broadcasting bonanza.

      • Roar Guru

        April 26th 2017 @ 10:29am
        Paul D said | April 26th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        Good observation – I agree with the general consensus this is just an opening lowball salvo from Nine.

        If they don’t have the cricket I’d never watch them. The rest of their programming is just crap cooking shows, people cheating on their partners in various contrived situations, and American sitcoms on permanent repeat

      • April 26th 2017 @ 12:48pm
        Perry Bridge said | April 26th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

        #Joey Johns

        The main issue though – around cricket – that really seems to irk the advertisers – – is the weather dependency and in the case of test cricket – 5 days but it may be over and done in less than 3.

        As it is – the BBL has gone where ODI’s haven’t – – and that’s to provide prime time every night for over a month – even when there’s been another game on during the day… good is Boxing Day test with a BBL game on each evening after stumps!! Love it!!

        But for Ch.9 – would they grow the pie if they got it all in one house – or – shrink the pie?

        Interesting times – given cricket just recently went very aggressively on female pay increases. More WBBL on tv? What if the purse strings have to be tightened?

        • Roar Guru

          April 26th 2017 @ 4:16pm
          Joey Johns said | April 26th 2017 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

          Hey Perry, regarding three day tests – they’re history. Cricket Australia has made enough Roads over the past 3 years to cross the Nullarbor.

          D/N tests guarantee 3 test matches broadcast in prime time a year before the Big Bash has started. When you count the Boxing Day & New Years tests, the only “dud” games 9 would be paying for are the ODI’s in January.

          Maybe some creative scheduling by Cricket Australia could revive Domestic 50 over cricket too? The Matador Cup could be played from October – Early December on the days that the Test cricket isn’t.

          Perhaps CA are ruing the decision not to aggressively expand the Big Bash (Freo, Canberra, Gold Coast, Geelong) so that there’s enough content for the networks to be in the position to share the rights.

    • April 26th 2017 @ 10:17am
      Sydneysider said | April 26th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      Maybe these analysts see a bleak future for FTA tv……. interesting.

      The generational shift away from newspapers has already happened, FTA TV could suffer the same fate in less than 20 years time.

      • Roar Pro

        April 26th 2017 @ 11:35am
        Alexander Clough said | April 26th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        It’s already begun with the huge uptake in Netflix, Stan, etc. changing how content is viewed when it comes to TV shows.
        Once the NRL and AFL realise they don’t need FTA coverage (or even Foxtel) and package their content into a reasonably-priced subscription service you can say goodbye to FTA tv – like the Premier League, NFL and NBA has done. I know they’ve already begun with their Live Passes but they need to turn away from the mobile angle – who honestly watches a whole game of footy on a 5 inch screen?
        I know it’s a small sample size, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually watched commercial television. It’s all just generic crap mixed with some talking heads.

        • Roar Guru

          April 26th 2017 @ 12:45pm
          The Bush said | April 26th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          Part of me thinks this is possible, but the other part of me thinks it’s less likely.

          The reason newspapers died is varied, but it has to at least include the fact that you can get your news for free on the net (bar advertising).

          The success of FTA is and will remain the fact that it is free. The deal that the sporting bodies must come up with needs to just that, a great deal, or else people won’t sign on. Look at the incredibly small take up of Foxtel. The success of Netflix and Stan is because it’s cheap. For $11 you can have five accounts – that’s a great deal. Is Cricket Australia as confident that they can get 1m people to sign up and pay $10 per month across the summer? That’s still only $60m, way less than their current deal.

          • April 26th 2017 @ 12:51pm
            Sydneysider said | April 26th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

            “The success of FTA is and will remain the fact that it is free. ”

            In Australia this is true but not in other parts of the world. Also if the next generation of kids keep using different technologies then FTA TV will have to adapt to that, which is already happening now with more content offered via streaming, including live sports.

            • April 27th 2017 @ 12:14am
              Ross said | April 27th 2017 @ 12:14am | ! Report

              Sydneysider I agree with you

            • April 29th 2017 @ 8:50pm
              Bakkies said | April 29th 2017 @ 8:50pm | ! Report

              and ABC and SBS (to some extent) are both funded by the tax payers. With the tv licence model that is common in Europe you know what you are contributing each year to the national broadcasters.

              I don’t know how long the ABC can survive pretending to be something that it is not (the BBC) by having no ads and channels that will attract very few viewers.

      • Roar Guru

        April 26th 2017 @ 11:41am
        Paul D said | April 26th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

        I see a future where you have pay tv within FTA – channel nine for example does a summer pass where you pay $30 to get all the cricket coverage and it’s on a special channel for that sort of thing. I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

        Hell if Foxtel had a package where you could just get sport without having to wade through 40 entertainment and garbage other shows/channels I’d go for that too.

    • Roar Guru

      April 26th 2017 @ 10:55am
      The Bush said | April 26th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      Perhaps all the major sports are over valued? I does blow the mind sometimes when you look at how much the major professional sports, Cricket, League and Aussie Rules, get… Perhaps they’re all looking at a pay cut moving forward!

      • April 29th 2017 @ 8:52pm
        Bakkies said | April 29th 2017 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

        League and Aussie Rules are way over priced. Like others have said these sports may no longer get away with broadcasting their game to viewers who pay absolutely nothing but the electricity that their tv set consumes.