Cricket Australia could be forced to do 'crazy' deal with Channel 10

Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley, pictured here in Sydney.
Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley could be forced to do a deal with Channel 10. Image: Getty

It won't be the poor viewing figures surrounding ratings disasters like The Real Love Boat, The Challenge and Traitors that will leave Cricket Australia hesitant in considering Channel 10 as its next broadcast partner. Instead, it's likely the poorly performed network's lack of promotional vehicles and a failure to deliver on events like the Melbourne Cup and the A-League that will leave them with a lack of punch at the negotiation table.

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CA is in talks with a host of interested parties ahead of the next broadcast deal – due to begin in 2025 - and hasn't ruled anything in or out. The American-owned Channel 10, which is under the Paramount umbrella, has deep pockets and can comfortably outbid Channels 7, 9 and Fox Sports.

CA's final decision won't be based entirely on dollars, however, with audience reach, digital growth and promotion of the game just as important. One former television executive experienced in sports rights negotiations told Yahoo Sport Australia CA won't take too much notice of ratings flops like the Real Love Boat and Traitors when it comes to getting a deal done.

Cricket Australia 'crazy' to do deal with Channel 10

But it will look closely at 10's sluggish ratings for the A-League and Melbourne Cup and gradual slide to the fourth-watched network in the country. The perception is 10 is the channel where live sport goes to die.

"The sports don't look at ratings in isolation and don’t understand them," the former TV executive said. "Ten will sell CA demographics and target audiences and the big American dream.

"The biggest problem is what Channel 10 can't offer. It can't offer eyeballs, it can’t offer shows like Sunrise/Today to cross promote or a strong news service.

"They don't have a good track record with big events or a proper streaming service or radio/newspaper ownership. CA would be crazy if they did a deal there."

Channel 10's talent, pictured here at Flemington for the Melbourne Cup.
Channel 10's talent gather at Flemington for the Melbourne Cup. (Photo by Sam Tabone/Getty Images)

But CA may have no choice but to seriously consider 10's bid as 9 is now heavily invested in tennis and 7 has been at war with cricket authorities over the quality of the BBL. Streaming services could also feature in the broadcast mix, particularly for competitions like the BBL.

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