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Alyssa Healy has joined a chorus of criticism against Channel Nine's decision not to broadcast the women's cricket World Cup on free-to-air TV in March.
Healy and her fellow players were left fuming on Sunday morning when it was confirmed that Nine had purchased simulcast rights from Fox to broadcast the next two men's World Cups.
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But missing from the press release was the women's ODI World Cup in New Zealand.
"It's a little bit of a slap in the face to say that we're not commercially viable," Healy said.
"That someone doesn't want to stick their hand up and say, 'we're going to put this on the telly so that everyone can watch it'.
"It's a little bit hard to take in that regard. Not having it on free-to-air excludes a fair chunk of our population who don't want to pay or can't afford to pay for subscription TV."
The move prompted Healy to offer up 20 Kayo vouchers to followers on social media.
Foxtel have since confirmed to AAP that the women's World Cup will be available in their "freebies pack", meaning viewers will be able to watch it on Kayo without a subscription.
Under the broadcast structure, Foxtel purchases the rights to all ICC tournaments from the ICC's global partner Star Sports.
Fox can then on-sell the rights to free-to-air broadcasters, which is how Nine picked up the rights to this year's men's T20 World Cup and next year's ODI World Cup.
Nine also simulcast the 2020 women's T20 World Cup in Australia, attracting 825,000 viewers for the final as well as criticism for placing it on GEM while Married At First Sight was on the main channel.
"Nine's sub license agreement with Foxtel only includes rights to the Mens T20 World Cup," a Channel Nine spokesperson told AAP.
Uproar over Channel Nine's women's cricket snub
The removal of the paywall on Foxtel came at the same time that Rachael Haynes also called for change.
"It sends a really powerful message to see our female athletes have an opportunity to share in the spotlight," she said.
"The visibility is extremely important. I am disappointed it's not on free-to-air TV in Australia."
Journalist Angela Pippos wrote on Twitter: “The decision not to broadcast the #WomensODIWC on FTA flies in the face of everything that’s happening with the Australian women’s cricket team - appalling judgement.”
Cricket writer Laura Jolly tweeted: “The majority of the really keen fans (who can afford it) will find a way to watch.
"But streaming services are inaccessible for many (for various reasons), and it cuts out the casual viewer who might flick on FTA to watch – thus losing a critical chance to grow support & the game.”
Sarah Styles, the Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, wrote: “Absolutely and utterly the wrong call by Channel 9.”
While cricket journalist Melinda Farrell added: “Well this is disappointing, to say the least. NZ’s border restrictions means few fans and journalists will travel to the WWC and now this.
"Good job Fox and Kayo are committed to it, cos that’s the only way it can be watched in Aus.”
— Angela Pippos (@angelapippos) January 23, 2022
Absolutely and utterly the wrong call by @Channel9 - as broadcast partner for @ICC’s events - to not show @AusWomenCricket’s upcoming @CricketWorldCup matches free-to-air in Australia 🙅🏻♀️@ChangeOurGame @meljones_33 @SamMostyn @womenleadersin @womenofsportau @AllisonLangdon https://t.co/kdi9rrtfdj
— Sarah Styles (@SarahStylesAU) January 22, 2022
Well this is disappointing, to say the least. NZ's border restrictions means few fans and journalists will travel to the WWC and now this. Good job Fox and Kayo are committed to it, cos that's the only way it can be watched in Aus. https://t.co/XuNoQ0pvUZ
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) January 23, 2022
What a joke that a deal wasn’t made for the women’s ODI world cup- how can you realistically expect the women’s game to continue to grow behind a paywall?
— Drusus (@DominicWeller) January 23, 2022
So once again its all talk and no action about promoting women’s sport. Our most successful team once again gets shoved to Pay TV and gets no exposure. @Channel9 Disgraceful Decision
— LEIGH S (@sweet68) January 23, 2022
Are @wwos joking? Taking the pith leaving the women’s team on the shelf. Did they not learn anything from the massive 85,000-plus MCG crowd for 2020 final and massive TV ratings.
— gjm (@gjm1508) January 23, 2022
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