Australia's Ten Network Looking To Acquire Tennis And Cricket Rights
Australia's Ten Network will make a "concerted bid to win the free-to-air sports rights for tennis and cricket next year," as it rolls out a more back-to-basics programming schedule, according to Darren Davidson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Ten is wanting sports rights after dropping the Australian Football League last year and missing out on the National Rugby League rights in August "following a bidding war" with the Nine and Seven networks that saw Nine retain the rights. Seven currently holds the free-to-air and new media tennis rights from Tennis Australia. With the "heightened interest in sports rights," it is believed Tennis Australia will see if it can achieve an increase in what networks are prepared to pay for the rights. Ten may also eye cricket rights, although Nine execs are "quietly confident they can retain the rights if the company can come out of its debt predicament unscathed" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/15).