Are Channel 9 Going To Ditch Their Cricket Coverage?
The Nine Network is being urged by bankers to end its long-time cricket coverage due to estimated $30-40 million yearly losses, placing Cricket Australia under a financial cloud.
The broadcaster has a five-year deal worth $500 million with CA which expires next year and is negotiating a new contract for 2018-2023.
But financial analysts UBS believe Nine should consider walking away from negotiations if a better deal isn't tabled.
"The existing cricket deal costs Nine circa $100 million per annum," UBS analyst in note to clients.
"We estimate the existing deal likely only generates gross revenues of $60-$70 million."
"We think it would seem logical for Nine to enter negotiations with the following mindset: i) more cricket content at no additional cost, or ii) to step away from the cricket contract."
The former option could include Network Ten relinquishing rights to the Big Bash League for CA to include the popular domestic Twenty20 competition under the new deal.
In terms of its international cricket product, CA is confident it'll find a buyer.
"We are not concerned that there will be a lack of interest for our media rights," the body's broadcasting manager Ben Amarfio told Fairfax Media.
"Live sport, and cricket in particular, continues to be a premium asset."
SHANE WARNE AND CRICKET COMMENTATORS IN TROUBLE OVER THIS SELFIE