The broadcaster has been told it can get back just over A$5 million
Cricket Australia has emerged strongly in the latest stage of its battle with Seven West Media with the broadcaster awarded just a small reduction in its rights fee by an independent arbitrator.
However, the two parties are still due in court on Monday and Seven has indicated they may not accept the finding.
In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on Friday evening, Seven said they had been given an A$5.3 million deduction from its fee – which should be taken off the next payment due on Monday – but the broadcaster had been seeking up A$70 million from their A$82million per year share of the A$1.18 billion deal struck in April 2018.
The deduction, which is the figure reported in a draft document last month, would rise by another A$3million if the Test against Afghanistan, which was postponed from this season, does not get played in the 2021-22 season.
CA managed to deliver the majority of the season amid navigating Covid-19 restrictions and border closures with full WBBL and BBL tournaments alongside the tour by India which all delivered strong ratings for Seven and Fox Sports.
Seven has made a range of arguments since the major disagreements with CA emerged last year including that the switching of the India tour to begin with the white-ball matches – which were exclusive to Fox Sports – had a negative impact on their schedule and that the quality of the BBL was reduced.
“Seven West Media has to date reserved and continues to reserve all rights concerning the expert not having met fundamental contractual conditions of independence under the media rights agreement,” the statement, authorised by CEO James Warburton, said.
“Seven West Media’s preliminary discovery action in the Federal Court relating to what it believes may be actionable Test Match and BBL quality failures by Cricket Australia is set down for 15 March 2021.”