As expected, Cricket Australia has been taken into arbitration by Seven West Media on Tuesday morning. According to Sydney Morning Herald, Channel 7 has lodged an official request for independent arbitration in its bid to secure a cut in its annual fees.
The free-to-air broadcaster lodged paperwork with the Australian Chamber for International and Commercial Arbitration calling to have an expert to determine the rights value of this summer’s fixture, including a four-Test series against India.
According to the report, if Cricket Australia refuses to appear, the broadcaster can head to courts to terminate its $450Million dollar deal with the board. This in turn can jeopardize the India tour of Australia.
CA-Broadcaster dispute : How it can impact the India tour of Australia ?
Cricket Australia (CA) currently has two set of deals, one with the free to air broadcaster Seven West Media & other with FOXTEL.
Though Foxtel also looks for discounts on the rights fee but it is Channel 7 who has taken CA to arbitration.
As far as India tour of Australia is concerned, Channel Seven rights are limited to 4 Test Match Series. For white ball series rights, CA has a contract with Foxtel which at this stage is not in any doubt.
CA has yet to publicly release its revamped fixtures for the India tour of Australia.
The board is still awaiting final approval from the Queensland government over bio-security issues because India is set to quarantine in the northern state.
Meanwhile a BCCI official confirmed to InsideSport that both the Boards have agreed to start to tour with first T20 Series, followed by three ODI’s and post that the 4 match test series will be played.
The T20 series will start on November 27 & three ODIs series will start on December 4. The four-Test series is likely to begin with the day-night Test on December 17, in Adelaide.
If the contract with the broadcaster gets jeopardized – it surely will impact the scheduling of the series.
With broadcaster filing for arbitration, it will not be that easy for the Australian board to prepare for the tour and simultaneously fight the arbitration and possible court battle with the broadcaster.