Channel Seven have accused Cricket Australia of altering the summer schedule to accomodate the needs of the BCCI and are reportedly set to sue the board for ‘many millions’ in the days to come. The change in schedule, according to Channel Seven, led to them suffering significant financial damage.
In the latest turn of events in the Channel Seven - Cricket Australia tussle, the Seven Network look all set to sue the Australian cricket board for ‘many million dollars’ for being responsible for them suffering ‘significant financial damage’. According to multiple sources in Australian media, Channel Seven have accused CA of accommodating to the needs of the BCCI and the touring Indian party and have claimed that the alteration of the schedule - the ODIs were supposed to succeed the Tests originally but the schedule was later rejigged - was done as a subservience to India.
The network have claimed that the change in schedule led to them incurring significant losses, as the rejig meant that instead of the originally scheduled three Tests, they only got one Test match in the ‘key ratings’ period (pre-Christmas). It is also believed that Seven, on Monday, filed an affidavit to gain access to email exchanges between CA and the BCCI to prove that the rescheduling was done in order to suit the needs of the tourists, who entered the Aussie shores on the back of a two-month-long IPL. The broadcast rights for the limited-over matches are with the Foxtel network, who have seen viewership records tumble in the first week of the summer.
However, CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley has rubbished the allegations made by the network and has stated that he was disappointed to see Seven use the media to talk down and tarnish the game’s reputation.
"With so much positivity around Australian cricket, it is disappointing that Seven West Media has again chosen to use the media to talk our wonderful game down," CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley said.
"We continue to have tremendous respect for the hardworking people across Channel 7's cricket and news broadcast teams and congratulate them on the substantial increase in ratings cricket has delivered them to date this season.
"We have, and will continue to, fulfill our obligations to our partners and supporters by scheduling a brilliant summer of cricket, despite the cost and complexity of doing so given the current public health situation."
The tussle between CA and Channel Seven has now extended for well over three months. Earlier, the network called CA a ‘trainwreck’ for its inability to finalize the summer’s itinerary and threatened to terminate its existing contract with the board. The network were also then fearful of the quality of players that will be on display in the BBL - for which they have the rights - but the introduction of new rules, addition of an extra overseas player and a plethora of big-name signings fulfilled the needs of Seven.