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Cricket Australia signs off on huge new rights deals

The Cricket Australia governing body has confirmed a A$590m (€449.4m/$577.8m) deal with commercial broadcasters Nine and Ten for the domestic rights to Test matches, one-day internationals and Twenty20 competition the Big Bash League.

The new five-year deal, spanning the 2013-14 to 2017-18 seasons, means that Nine will continue to show Australia’s home Test and ODI matches – a position the broadcaster has filled for the past 34 years.

Ten will broadcast domestic Twenty20 competition the BBL for the next five years – an agreement that means it will be the only sports league in Australia with all of its matches on free-to-air television. The BBL had previously been broadcast by pay-television network Fox Sports.

Nine defeated a rival bid from Ten for the Test and ODI package by exercising its last-rights privilege from its previous contract with Cricket Australia. Nine paid about A$45m per year under the previous seven-year deal, from 2006-07 to 2012-13.

Nine has also agreed to a A$60m joint digital venture with Cricket Australia. The CA and Nine joint partnership will integrate broadcast and digital content on the governing body’s website, cricket.com.au, and on PCs, smartphone and tablet devices. Nine’s televised games will be streamed live to smartphone and tablets.

CA said cricket will be the first sport to have no restrictions on smartphone and tablet screen size, and will be the only major sport in Australia to stream matches live on PCs. 

Commenting on the new rights deals with Nine and Ten, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “The average annual value of the broadcast of Australian cricket in Australia to Australian viewers has just increased by 118 per cent compared to the last five years to A$590m, which is very important to our ability to invest in the continuing development of our sport.”

He continued: “Cricket here, as with premium sport globally, is a great value proposition, bringing viewers to TV networks who then tend to stay on for other offerings from those networks, whether it be evening news and evening programming off the back of a game, or other content the networks promote.”