Ten thwarted by Seven in battle for tennis broadcast rights

The Seven Network has this morning confirm it has retained the broadcast rights to the tennis for a further five years.

In a deal thought to be worth around $30m a year Seven will continue to broadcast the Australian Open, despite strong interest from the rival Ten network.

As recently as last week Ten CEO Hamish McLennan told the Mumbrella360 conference: “Tennis Australia are in exclusive negotiations with Channel Seven at the moment but I think they would be mad not to put it to the open market.”

“If you look at what happened with cricket the rights went up . . . [by 118 per cent] so unless they test the market they don’t know how monetiseable it is,” he said.

The move comes at a time when there are few other major sports rights deals on the market outside of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Two weeks ago Nine secured the international cricket rights while Ten picked up the Big Bash League.

Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said in today’s announcement: “Seven has played a key role in the success of our sport and events and we welcome their continuing involvement as our coverage expands across broadcast television and new online and tablet apps,” said Wood.

“This agreement fits in very well with our overall strategy of ensuring as much high quality tennis coverage for the Australian public as possible, freely available on whatever device the viewer chooses.”

Seven West Media CEO, Tim Worner said it was a full multiplatform deal covering free to air, pay, digital/online, mobile and tablet rights.

“One of the key aspects of our new broadcast agreement is our ability to deliver this amazing event across multiple platforms in formats that meet the demands of our audiences,” said Worner in a statement.

“One of our key strategies for the development of our business is the delivery of live content across our media platforms.”

At the time of publishing Ten has not responded to requests for comment.

Nic Christensen



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