Sydney, Jun 1 (ANI): Australian TV network Channel Nine has reportedly undertaken urgent talks to outdo its rival Ten Network's whopping half-billion-dollar bid to steal international cricket
According to News.com.au, Nine, which had dominated Australian cricket for more than three decades, has been pushed to the financial brink by Ten's bold challenge, for which it has undertaken frantic talks with Cricket Australia (CA) to finalise the 400 million-dollar five-year deal for international cricket.
The report further said that Ten will hand over 100 million dollars for five years to show the Big Bash League on free-to-air for the first time, which almost doubles the amount Nine paid for international cricket during the previous seven-year agreement - from 45 million dollars to 80 million dollars a year.
According to the report, Nine was already under increased financial pressure after last year's successful billion-dollar, five-year deal for the National Rugby League (NRL) rights, which is believed to be losing about 30 million dollars a year.
The report added that the channel has been cutting costs to try to keep international cricket and justifying the high price of holding on to it.
Although the report said that cricket would be another significant loss leader for the network, it added that both rugby and cricket are considered important drivers for a share float of the debt-laden network within the next 18 months.
Meanwhile, CA is excited about the extra exposure the Big Bash League will receive on free to air, lifting its viewers from about 250,000 a match on Fox Sports, one of its highest rating events, to an estimated 700,000, the report added. (ANI)