Cricket deal to create seismic shift in media landscape

The freshly minted cricket deal with Foxtel and Seven spells the most pivotal moment in Australian commercial sports broadcasting.

Our take

Whilst the ongoing Seven and Nine race for #1 position will most likely not change, what is interesting is the position Ten will now be in once they lose BBL and with CBS’s backing.   What is even more surprising is that the main backer is no longer a free to air network, with Seven only contributing $80m a year of the $1.2b deal with Foxtel over 6 years. This provides Foxtel with more relevance than ever in the face of popular streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon’s Prime. Also, picking up the digital rights will ultimately power their data offering. Putting ratings, the quality of Australian sports coverage across all platforms and a new battleground for commercial broadcasting supremacy aside, how will this affect consumers that are passionate about cricket? What are the implications of their longstanding relationship with commentators and their expectation the coverage would continue to be free? Does this herald a new era where paying for access to quality content becomes ubiquitous? And for brands wanting to monetise and capitalise on this opportunity, how does this new paradigm mean they can provide fans with greater value and relevancy? Whilst there will be many questions and much debate over the coming weeks, what is certain is the new opportunity this deal provides. Surely it will make us stop and think about how, as an industry, we not only change the game but bring fresh thinking, regulation and innovation to the fore.

Monia Montefusco

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