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Volume 6 No. 216
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Cricket Australia, Nine Network Could End 36-Year Partnership After Months Of Tensions

The 36-year relationship between Australian cricket and Nine "is in danger of splitting after the sport's ruling body launched legal action against the network," according to Hawthorne & Vedelago of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Cricket Australia, which derives an estimated 80% of its income from TV rights to cricket coverage, "has filed a writ against Nine, the rights holder to broadcast the sport on TV in Australia." While the dispute centers "on the broadcast of domestic cricket on free-to-air TV, at stake is the rights to Test cricket, including future Ashes series between Australia and England." A party close to the negotiations said, "When you have been partners for more than 30 years, you have to be backed into a corner to take such dramatic action as a lawsuit. Talks broke down, and this was the only course available.'' The writ, lodged by Cricket Australia, "follows months of simmering tensions between the partners over the broadcasting rights" worth an estimated A$350M ($357M) (SMH, 5/10).