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Tennis Australia serves up Australian Open rights extension – report

The Tennis Australia governing body has agreed terms on a five-year extension of its domestic rights deal for the Australian Open grand slam tournament with commercial broadcaster Seven Network, according to the Australian Financial Review newspaper.

Seven’s existing five-year agreement expires after the 2014 Australian Open and is worth A$105m (€78.25m/$102m).

Tennis Australia is said to have agreed not to put the rights to an open auction in favour of a new five-year deal with Seven worth around A$30m a year.

Seven’s exclusive negotiating period was scheduled to run until September 30 but an announcement on a new deal, potentially also including digital and pay-television rights, is reportedly expected as early as this week.

Rival commercial broadcaster Ten was said to be prepared to pay A$45m to A$50m a year for the rights. Tennis Australia also reportedly received a preliminary offer worth about A$40m a year from at least one international sports management group, which would have sold on the rights to local broadcasters.