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Cricket Australia is going through a turbulent time due to the financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Several series were cancelled in the wake of the deadly virus, which has resulted in significant losses for the Australian cricket board. Now, Cricket Australia is banking on India's tour of Australia to compensate for the losses incurred.
However, according to a recent report by Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia and their broadcast partner Seven's disputes have escalated further and are now at a point of no return. The broadcasting partners of Cricket Australia are demanding the board to abort the upcoming Big Bash League. Apart from this, Seven West Media have also demanded a change in the schedule of India's tour of Australia.
The report further states that Cricket Australia has maintained its stance by laughing off the demands made by Seven West Media during negotiations. The broadcasting company has initiated the process to terminate its contract after Cricket Australia rejected their demands. According to the existing contract, Seven pays AUD $82 million (USD $60 million approximately) a year to the Australian cricket board. Besides, the annual fee, it also has $25 million ($18.2 million) of production costs per year in the six-year deal.
The report states that Seven has made several demands which include the cancellation of Big Bash League season this year, reduction in the rights fees, rescheduling of India's tour to Australia. They also want the Test series to be scheduled during the holiday period so that the monetization opportunity for the broadcaster increases. However, Cricket Australia has rejected all these demands, which has led to the broadcaster putting them on notice. The final verdict about the same will be revealed on Tuesday when it will be clear if Cricket Australia is left with a broadcast partner or not.
According to several reports in Australian media, Seven has already sent out a legal notice to Cricket Australia and will not pay the contracted monies. On the other hand, the Australian board has also stood their ground and is in no mood to relent. The standoff between the two parties may lead to the conflict going to court as early as next Tuesday.
The conflict also threatens to affect India's tour of Australia severely. Virat Kohli's men are set for a long tour down under where they will play a four-match Test series and around 6 white-ball games. Cricket Australia had said that India's tour of Australia would be a massive boost for them financially amidst the COVID-19 times. The board is expected to generate $150 million from the commercial rights of the tour and the majority of those monies were supposed to be paid by the broadcast partner.
Now, with Cricket Australia's contract with the broadcast partners under threat, India's tour to Australia has also been jeopardized. Without a broadcasting partner, it would be impossible for CA to organize the India-Australia tour. It would be interesting to see how the Australian board manages to resolve the strife ahead of the much-anticipated series.
IMAGE COURTESY: CRICKET.COM.AU
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