Ten Network Looks To Bounce Nine Out Of Cricket TV Broadcast Rights
Channel Nine's 33-year "stranglehold on Australian cricket's broadcast rights is under siege, with Channel Ten preparing to throw everything at a prized new deal," according to Ben Dorries of the COURIER-MAIL. For the first time since Kerry Packer won the rights in '79 after the World Series Cricket split, there is "serious competition for cricket's telecast rights, with Ten emerging as a key player." Cash-strapped Ten is preparing to "try to steal the traditional jewel of Nine's sporting crown in a major TV sporting war." Ten COO Jon Marquard said, "We are very interested in all of the cricket rights, and we will be engaging with Cricket Australia." Industry sources said that Nine has now "realized it is in for the fight of its life to retain the cricket, with Seven also showing an interest." Ten's looming bid, possibly in conjunction with Fox Sports, which could show some limited-overs internationals and the Big Bash competition, has the "potential to change the face of cricket" (COURIER-MAIL, 12/7).