interim CEO Nick Hockley is adamant Cricket Australia won't renegotiate a cheaper broadcast deal. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS

cricket

Seven Network could drop cricket contract

2020-08-28 14:23:09

The Seven Network is considering aborting its contract with Cricket Australia (CA), labelling the sport’s governing body incompetent.

Seven boss James Warburton has labelled CA “the most incompetent administration I have ever worked with”.

“It’s a train wreck,” Warburton told News Corp.

“We are forced to consider all our options including terminating the contract and we have put them on notice.”

Seven still has four years to run on its $450 million contract to broadcast cricket in Australia.

But Warburton and fellow network chiefs are increasingly frustrated at CA which is yet to detail its scheduling for the looming summer, both for internationals and domestic competitions.

India is due to play four Test matches against Australia as well as 50-over and Twenty20 games.

Afghanistan is due to play one Test in Australia.

CA’s interim chief executive officer Nick Hockley on Thursday was adamant the game wouldn’t renegotiate cheaper deals with Seven like the AFL did, and also like the NRL did with the Nine Network.

But Warburton savaged the governing body amid concerns the Big Bash League, a ratings winner, would be a diluted competition this summer with no international players due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Australia’s top players were also unlikely to feature in the BBL due to national commitments.

“This is not an acceptable product and we will not support the season,” Warburton said.

“Cricket Australia have an obligation to deliver a competition of no lesser standard than the past.

“What a bumbling, stumbling administration.

“How stupid to schedule international cricket against the BBL and drain the resources of a competition already under pressure.

“It’s a joke and it rips off the fans.”