Seven Vies For Aussie Cricket Rights Despite Drop In Crowd, TV Ratings
The Seven Network "is actively seeking the broadcast rights to Australian cricket, approaching potential presenters, while Nine is bidding its time to make a serious bid," according to Peter Lalor of THE AUSTRALIAN. The "much-hyped" Big Bash League has experienced crowd and TV ratings down almost 20%, and "it remains to be seen how the new broadcast package appeals to free-to-air television." Next year's package "will look different, no matter who gets the rights," with five One-Day Internationals scheduled for the Ashes summer '13-14. Broadcasters "will be bidding for a new product," with the BBL "being pushed as part of the wider deal, although there is scope for that to be sold separately." It is understood that Cricket Australia "will have to decide whether to take the highest offer" for the BBL or "take the lower bid for broader exposure." The league is currently broadcast by Fox Sports, and "it is keen to hold on to the rights to what is one of the most successful sports" in the country, with average audiences of more than 200,000 per game. TV audiences "are still considered strong" despite an 18% fall (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/11).