Seven West Media and Foxtel has won the broadcasting rights for Australian cricket, in a six-year deal worth more than $1bn.
The deal, which includes broadcast rights for international cricket matches, one day tests and the Big Bash League, comes after weeks of negotiations between Cricket Australia and broadcasters.
The negotiations continued amidst the recent ball-tampering scandal that engulfed Cricket Australia and led to 12-month bans of the team’s captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner. The scandal also saw sponsors sever ties with the players and the game.
Pay TV provider Foxtel, which is a joint venture by News Corporation and Telstra, is understood to be paying for the majority of the rights, with Fox Sports set to have exclusive rights to international one day and Twenty20 matches.
Free-to-air broadcaster Seven will broadcast Big Bash games as well as international tests played in Australia, according to ABC.
The deal marks a significant shift in Australian broadcasting as the game moves from free-to-air broadcaster Nine, which has broadcast the game for 40 years. It follows last month’s deal by Nine to secure the broadcast rights for Australian tennis, ending Seven’s 40-year relationship with Tennis Australia.
Nine was part of the bidding war for the rights along with free-to-air provider Network Ten, which will also lose its rights to broadcast the high-rating Big Bash League.