Australian tennis rights set to be put out to tender, report says

Tennis Australia, the governing body for the sport in the country, is expected to put out to tender its next cycle of free-to-air domestic rights for the Australian Open tournament, according to the Australian newspaper.

The report said that Tennis Australia is expected to open up the bidding even though incumbent rights-holder Seven network would have “first and last rights” in the sales process for the Australian Open, which is one of tennis’ four grand slam competitions.

Seven’s current cycle of rights for free-to-air and new media platforms runs for six years, from 2009 to 2014, and is reportedly worth A$14 million (€11.3 million/$14.6 million) per year. The deal was struck in 2007, when Tennis Australia opted to renegotiate a deal with Seven rather than put the rights out to tender.

The report added that Australian commercial broadcaster Network Ten is keen to bid for the rights after missing out on live domestic rights to the Australian Football League, the top Aussie rules competition, and the National Rugby League, the top division of rugby league in the country.