Channel 7 make huge blunder
Channel Seven’s record cricket deal stole headlines over a month ago when the announcement was made that the broadcaster has nabbed the free-to-air rights from Channel Nine.
The news meant that Seven would effectively have a monopoly on free summer sport broadcasting in Australia given that network still has one year remaining on its Australian Open tennis contract.
The network has recently secured Ricky Ponting, former Channel 10 BBL commentator, as its new face of cricket on a deal reportedly worth several million dollars.
This new sports broadcasting setup has been a major advertising drawcard for Seven already, but an unforeseen scheduling blunder has left many questioning whether the network has bitten off more than it can chew.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Australian Open must, as per the contract, be shown on the network’s main channel.
This condition means that no fewer than 12 Big Bash League games will be relegated to Channel Seven’s secondary channel/s.
Seven’s chief executive Tim Worner believes the press are overreacting.
“We’ll have both the tennis and the cricket, the only summer sports that really matter,” said Worner at Macquarie’s annual business conference.
“This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to drive for ratings and revenue, and an unrivalled platform from which to launch our 2019 schedule.”
The scheduling nightmare could also affect the day-night test that has been scheduled for the Australia Day long weekend.