Australian Cycling Coverage In Jeopardy Over Fee Dispute Between CA, SBS
TV coverage of Australia's main domestic cycling races next year -- including the national road championships at Ballarat in January -- "risks being dropped by SBS unless the network receives six months of payments owed it by the national body," according to Rupert Guinness of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Sources said that Cycling Australia owes SBS A$150,000 ($142,000) in contractual fees from May in their '12-13 deal that "expires at the end of this year." It is also understood that SBS "will not commit to a new two-year contract for 2014 and 2015 until the amount is paid in full in compliance with its own auditing process." A cut by SBS of domestic race coverage "would not only be a blow for cycling fans, but the regions hosting those events that need television exposure to drive tourism, and event sponsors who would expect exposure in return for their investment." CA Acting President Robert Bates said the organization hopes to continue its relationship with SBS, and that it would settle ''all outstanding obligations" (SMH, 10/31).