SCA drops out of Cricket Australia broadcast deal

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 11 May 2018

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced that it will not be seeking to acquire radio media rights for cricket.

The rights, currently held by SCA, have allowed its Triple M network to broadcast test matches for the past two years.

“After assessing our business and our line-up, we have made a commercial decision to pursue alternative summer programming. We will not be seeking a new broadcast agreement with Cricket Australia," SCA COO John Kelly says.

A spokesperson told AdNews that listener engagement had nothing to do with the decision and that the broadcaster had simply assessed the deal and not decided to continue with it.

"We had good feedback from our listeners, it had nothing to do with them, we've just decided to look at other options and return to more music."

The ABC declined to comment on whether it will continue its previous deal, covering all men's and women's home international matches as well as the BBL final and domestic competition finals.

Macquarie Media is also yet to confirm its position. The broadcaster had a five-year deal with Cricket Australia for all men's home international matches as well as the Big Bash League.

Macquarie Media recently launched a national commercial sports radio network, Macquarie Sports Radio, as it plans to grow its sports coverage offering.

“Broadcasting cricket on Triple M for the past two seasons of summer cricket including an Ashes Tour has been great fun and our listeners loved it," Triple M head of content Mike Fitzpatrick says.

“We’ve successfully appealed to both cricket lovers and a broader radio audience, injecting comedy and entertainment, while our diverse line-up delivered knowledgeable and informative commentary."

While the radio deal remains on the table for Cricket Australia, Foxtel and the Seven Network snatched the TV media rights  for cricket from Nine and Ten in a deal worth at least $1 billion over six years.

The deal sees Seven pick up domestic test matches, including one Ashes series, and the majority of the Big Bash League (BBL). Foxtel would have the exclusive rights to some BBL games, ODIs and T20s and will simulcast domestic international cricket.

It is the first time a combination of the BBL and test match cricket will be broadcast on a single free-to-air TV network.

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