Seven sends Cricket Australia a breach of contract notice

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 11 September 2020

Seven West Media has sent Cricket Australia a breach of contract notice, the first step in terminating its broadcast deal, say industry sources.

The media group has been unhappy with the quality of cricket available for its free-to-air broadcast and argues it shouldn’t be paying as much for the rights.

Sources say Cricket Australia now has 14 days to reply. If Seven isn’t happy with the reaction, then the issue goes to arbitration.

Cricket Australia said: “Cricket Australia remains in ongoing discussions with the Seven Network about delivering a compelling summer of cricket. CA is committed to fulfilling its contractual obligations to all its partners this season.”

CEO James Warburton has described Cricket Australia as the “most incompetent ­administration I’ve ever worked with”.

"We are forced to consider all our options including terminating the contract and we have put them on notice," Warburton said last month.

Seven West and Fox Sports, majority owned by News Corp, have a six-year, $1.18 billion broadcast rights deal, which started in 2018.

Seven is paying $450 million ($75m a year) for tests, 43 Big Bash League matches and women's internationals and BBL.

The broadcaster has won significant reductions in broadcast rights fees from the AFL after the pandemic cut into the playing season.

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