SYDNEY – Cricket Australia has signed a new six-year broadcast agreement worth A$1.2 billion (£655.7 million), the board said on Friday, allaying fears of a financial blow in the wake of last month’s ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Broadcaster Seven West Media and pay television company Foxtel, which is jointly owned by News Corp and Telstra Corp, secured the media rights, taking over from long-term cricket broadcaster Nine Entertainment .
The deal was negotiated amid the fallout from the test match in South Africa during which Australia’s players hatched a plan to tamper with the ball, only to be caught by cameras.
Three players, including then captain Steve Smith, have been suspended.
Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive James Sutherland said the issue of restoring the team’s reputation had been discussed.
“We’ve obviously got some rebuilding to do, but it is something that we’ve spoken to both Fox and Seven about,” Sutherland told reporters in Sydney on Friday.
“We are delighted to have them as partners; they are committed to us rebuilding that trust and confidence, not just for Cricket Australia as an organisation and cricket as a sport but also through our players.”
CA said in a statement on Friday that the broadcast and digital deal was worth A$1.18 billion over six years. It was not immediately clear how the figure was calculated.
Seven said in a statement to shareholders that its share of the annual cash rights cost was A$75 million. Shares in broadcaster Seven were up more than 12 percent on Friday, while Nine’s share price was flat. - Agencies