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Internet giants unlikely to take Australia rights from TV, says Nine CEO

Social media companies Facebook and Twitter and technology giant Google are unlikely to challenge traditional broadcasters in bidding for major sports rights in Australia, according to the chief executive of commercial broadcaster Nine.

The AFL Aussie rules football competition is reportedly considering striking deals with the aforementioned companies, as well as e-commerce company Amazon, but Nine CEO Hugh Marks has dismissed the suggestion that new media will usurp free-to-air and pay-television broadcasters.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review newspaper, Marks said: “Are Foxtel and Seven, in the case of the AFL, going to enable some social media company to carve off a bit of rights when we’re all trying to look at that ecosystem in terms of building audiences and marketing platforms? I don’t think so.

“Is Facebook going to come and take all rights out for the AFL? No. It’s just not going to happen, not in any near-term horizon.”

The AFL and the NRL rugby league competition have rights deals in place until 2022 so any deals with social media companies would not come into effect until the following year.