Channel 9 To Make Loss On Ashes Despite Record Commercial Interest
Channel 9 will make a loss on its summer of cricket "despite attracting more commercial interest to the Ashes than any other test series on record," according to Arvind Hickman of AD NEWS. In many ways, Australia's 4-0 "drubbing" of England has been a "huge success for Cricket Australia and host broadcaster Nine on and off the field." Nine's cumulative reach across the five-test series was 14.8 million people. However, despite "huge interest" in the Ashes, Nine has "not been able to convert sponsorship and spot advertising revenue into profit when the costs of broadcasting rights and production are taken into account." Nine pays Cricket Australia around A$100M ($79M) each year for the rights to broadcast test matches, one-day internationals and T20s in a deal that expires after this summer. Nine Dir of Sales Sam Brennan said, "Categorically, we will still make a loss on this season. Commercially, in isolation, I think it's been a pretty solid result, but the underlying factor is that we are losing money, which is an area we are slightly concerned about." Nine's admission that a home Ashes series -- "easily the most lucrative summer in a four-year cycle" -- is loss-making, underlines the challenges free-to-air broadcasters face in trying to monetize sport (AD NEWS, 1/11).