CA, Seven happy with limited-overs paywall

Seven Network, in partnership with Foxtel are set to nab the media rights for Australian cricket.
Seven Network, in partnership with Foxtel are set to nab the media rights for Australian cricket.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherlands insists the revolutionary shift of limited-overs internationals behind a television paywall will benefit the sport in the long-term.

CA signed off on their landmark $1.182 billion, six-year broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports and the Seven Network on Friday, ending Channel Nine's four-decade broadcast of the home summer.

Ten Network have also lost the coveted rights to the Big Bash League, while all Tests and 43 of the 59 BBL matches will be simulcast between Fox Sports and Seven.

Fox Sports will exclusively showcase home international one-day and Twenty20 matches, along with the remaining 16 games of the BBL on a new dedicated cricket channel during summer.

In total, about 80 per cent of all international cricket will still be available via free-to-air, with CA still trumpeting more cricket content will be available on commercial networks than ever before.

The new rights deal is a coup for CA improving on the previous five-year deal with Nine and Ten worth $590 million over five years - especially after fears the ball-tampering saga in South Africa would directly impact on the financial outcome.

"Cricket's been through a tough couple of weeks but we know cricket is an extremely resilient sport," Sutherland said.

"We've obviously got some rebuilding to do but we've spoken to both Fox and Seven about it and ... they are committed to us rebuilding that trust and confidence."

CA was confident the joint deal with free-to-air and pay TV complies with Australia's anti-siphoning rules, given Seven also share in the deal.

"That is a change to the arrangement that has been here previously," Sutherland said.

"But what we're very excited about is cricket fans will have the opportunity to watch more cricket.

"What we have been all about through this process is about arriving at a landing point that allows more cricket to be telecast and broadcast."

Under the deal, Foxtel will also broadcast the 50-over domestic competition, Sheffield Shield final and selected tour matches as part of a 24-hour cricket channel over summer.

As part of a new digital partnership with CA, there is also the chance to stream overseas tours through the network.

Women's cricket is also a winner, all home internationals and 23 WBBL matches to be broadcast on Seven and Fox.

Seven last broadcast elite cricket in 2005 when they showed the away one-day series that preceded the away Ashes, as part of a deal with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Channel Nine have the rights to next year's away Ashes series, as well as the 2019 one-day World Cup World Twenty20 in 2020, under agreements with the International Cricket Council.

Meanwhile, Ten made their disappointment clear, after having played a significant role in the growth of BBL ratings and crowd figures during their four-year deal.

"Network Ten turned the Big Bash League into the television phenomenon it is today and one of the most popular sports in Australia, a sport that all Australians were able enjoy for free," chief executive Paul Anderson said in a statement.

"We had planned to extend that innovation to other forms of the game."

Australian Associated Press