As the Nine Network kicking off their new era of Tennis this week, things have changed within sports TV rights coverage.
With Nine airing the Davis Cup plus the Australian Open & lead-up tournaments, they lost the domestic International cricket rights to rival Seven Network for the first time in 40 years.
Although, Seven’s deal with Cricket Australia is in a tie-up as their new Free to Air Partner with subscription giant Foxtel.
This trend has first made its breakthrough back in April as both new TV partners look set to air Cricket in the coming days to weeks.
Fox will launch Fox Cricket on Monday at Midnight before airing the first 50-Over Domestic Game on Tuesday.
It’s Western Australia v New South Wales at the WACA in Perth from 3.30PM-12.30AM.
On the other hand, Seven will switch over straight from the AFL Grand Final to its first ever match LIVE on Saturday, 29, September at 7 PM AEST which will be the Main Channel.
It’s the first Twenty20 Women’s International Match between Australia v New Zealand at North Sydney Oval.
Which broadcasters will air the matches between 2018-2024?
Foxtel will air every form of the game which includes sharing all of Test and Women’s International Matches LIVE with Seven.
For One-Day and Twenty20 Internationals, Foxtel has the exclusive rights to these games.
Foxtel and Seven will share LIVE telecasts of 43 of 59 Big Bash Men’s, and all of 23 Women’s Big Bash Matches plus both finals.
And on 16 Men’s Big Bash, 13 of 23 of the Domestic 50-Over Cup plus the Sheffield Shield Final Games exclusively live on Foxtel.
Will the Nine Network air any Cricket Content outside of the new deal?
Yes, they will still air some Cricket.
It’s because the leftover contacts they held rights for are deals outside of Cricket Australia’s hands.
They will air the 2019 50-Over ICC Cricket World Cup in England & Wales.
Only all of the Australian Group Stage Matches plus both Semi-Finals & Final LIVE.
It runs from May 30 to July 15.
Two weeks later, the Ashes begins its quest in the same country for only five Test Matches LIVE.
It’s part of the deal they signed with England & Wales Cricket Board back in 2013 that includes the 2015 & 2019 Ashes Tours.
The 2019 Ashes runs from August 1-September 17.
If 2019 isn’t enough, look forward to 2020.
But it’s only the ICC World Twenty20 both Men’s and Women’s Tournaments on home soil.
Likewise, all Australian Matches plus both Semi-Finals and the Final LIVE.
It runs from 18 October to November 15, 2020.
Who will be part of the broadcasting team for the leftover matches?
Since Nine’s loss of Cricket, there are not many people around to commentate matches these days.
Here is a list of the Final Commentary Crew that are recently part last season & where they’ve gone next:
- Bill Lawry, Retirement & Stayed at Nine
- Ian Chappell, Stayed at Nine & will eventually Retire
- Michael Clarke, Concentrating with business ventures
- Shane Warne, Moved to Fox Cricket
- Michael Slater, Moved to Seven Network
- Ian Healy, Moved to Fox Cricket
- Mark Nicholas, Unknown at this stage
- Mark Taylor, Stayed at Nine
It’s fair to say that Mark Taylor will be the Nine’s Main Cricket Expert on the leftover matches between now and 2020.
Alongside him, we don’t know who will be hosting Nine’s telecast of the 2019 Ashes/ 50-Over World Cup & the 2020 World T20.
And on their Ashes plans in England, they might not be able to assemble a dedicated commentary team.
In 2015, with a full group of talent, they were able to send a few people over in England except Mark Nicholas who lives there during the Northern Summer.
But this time around, Nine will probably take the feed from Sky Sports & house a studio back in Sydney.
What about the next set of TV rights outside of Cricket Australia?
The 2021 World T20 plus the 2023 50-Over World Cup & Ashes in England are still up for grabs.
It’ll depend on whether or not if they will get the Wimbledon Tennis Rights beforehand after 2019.
Same will go with Mark Taylor regarding his contact after his association with Nine will expire by this period.
So FOX Cricket or Seven will be in a great position to secure his services.
If not, he would be throwing his hand for the Cricket Australia Chairman’s Job once David Peever leaves.
Ian Chappell will always be a Nine member for life even though he’ll enter retirement with veteran Bill Lawry.
Not sure about Mark Nicholas yet right now.
But it’s likely that he will come back to England and commentate England’s Overseas Tours for TalkSport.
For now, good luck to Channel 9 on covering the Summer of Tennis.
And if they eventually win back the rights of Cricket in six years time, it’ll be an entirely different commentary team.
- Nine Entertainment Co. (Feature Image)