Cricket Australia in Legal Wrangle with Seven West Media
Cricket Australia is embroiled in a legal wrangle with Seven West Media which has threatened to sue the board for ‘many millions’ over a contract dispute. Seven West Media has reportedly filed an affidavit in the Federal Court detailing the media firm’s row with Cricket Australia. The key points of the affidavit are as under. In 2018, Cricket Australia appointed Seven as the free-to-air broadcaster for cricket. Seven has accused Cricket Australia of causing deliberate delays in the Test matches against India with a view to benefiting Foxtel and BCCI. COVID-19 related changes to the tour schedule have already translated into many months of an argument between Seven and Cricket Australia. According to the affidavit filed by Lewis Martin, Seven’s managing director and head of sport in Melbourne, Cricket Australia stands to be sued for breach of contract and the damages could run to “many millions of dollars.”
Seven Unhappy with Amended Schedule
At the heart of the dispute are schedule changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. CA postponed a one-day series versus West Indies, a one-day series versus New Zealand and a Test versus Afghanistan. In a discovery application, which includes the affidavit, Seven has sought documents believed to be held by CA. Seven is particularly aggrieved that six white-ball games preceded a four-Test series versus India that was postponed to accommodate the T20Is and ODIs. Foxtel owns the rights of the ODIs and T20Is. According to the affidavit, on August 7, CA executives met Seven executives including Martin in a discussion regarding the amended summer schedule. Martin has been quoted as saying in the affidavit, “I was not, and still am not, aware of any legitimate operational reasons CA had for giving those matches priority over the international Men’s Test Match and Men’s BBL Tournament schedule.”
Changed Schedule Resulted in Loss of $444 Million
The free-to-air rights — that had previously been held by Channel Nine for decades — were bought by Seven in 2018 and have resulted in a loss of $444 million for the network. Seven has made no secret of its acrimony recently, claiming that CA’s post-pandemic changes to the schedule have caused the loss. A text message sent by CA chief executive Nick Hockley appeared to suggest that the schedule change was a response to a request by the BCCI, India’s powerful cricket board. Foxtel and streaming service Kayo are reported to have gained viewership for the white-ball games, owing to the changed schedule.
The decision to put off the India Tests until after the white-ball series also meant that Indian skipper Virat Kohli, considered to be the tourists’ biggest drawcard, would return to India to be by his wife’s side when their child was born after playing only one Test.
Seven has found unexpected support from Australia’s ODI captain Aaron Finch, who has opined that the ongoing tussle between the network and Cricket Australia was “not ideal.” According to Finch, “When you’re in a partnership together you hope that everything runs as smooth as possible. But having [the ODI series] at the start of summer, I haven’t noticed any difference in the way that people have approached viewing the game or anything like that.”
According to a confirmation by the ECB, the Royal London Cup and The Hundred will be held simultaneously in 2022, as they were this year. The concurrent schedules of the two competitions meant that, in 2021, the best white-ball cricketers took part in The Hundred, reducing the Royal London Cup to a development tournament. The […]
The Professional Cricketers’ Association has named Eve Jones and Joe Root as the women’s and men’s players of the year while naming Alice Capsey and Harry Brooks as the respective young players of the year. Jones was rewarded for her leading contributions to Birmingham Phoenix and Central Sparks in three different tournaments, making her the […]
Former skipper of Pakistan Inzamam ul-Haq underwent angioplasty after detecting cardiac issues. After the detection of cardiac issues, Inzamam-ul-Haq had to undergo angioplasty. The 51-year-old former skipper of Pakistan clarified that he had not suffered a heart attack as rumoured and expressed gratitude for the good wishes he had received from people around the globe. […]
Wasim Khan the CEO of PCB has become the third high profile exit — after bowling coach Waqar Younis and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq — after the appointment of Ramiz Raja as the PCB chairman. Khan has quit his post four months before his contract was due to end. Wasim Khan Addresses Media In a media […]
The PCB has received an apology from ECB chairman Ian Whatmore who admits that the relationship between the boards has taken a beating and must be rebuilt. Whatmore has addressed the media for the first time since England’s withdrawal from the women’s and men’s tours of Pakistan shortly after NZ cited a specific security threat […]
On September 27, Moeen Ali announced his decision to quit Test cricket. The 34-year-old all-rounder, who began his Test career in 2014, has featured for England in 64 Test matches in which he has taken 195 wickets and scored five hundreds. Ali made the announcement ahead of the Ashes series in Australia due to begin […]