Channel Nine comes under fire for dumping cricket in favour of tennis as Fourth Test delivers stellar ratings win for rival network Seven
Nine executives have criticised outgoing boss Hugh Marks for dumping the network’s cricket broadcasting deal after a stellar start for Seven.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, executives have hit out at the axing following the incredible Fourth Test between Australia and India last week.
‘[It was the] worst decision ever,’ one veteran Nine executive, who remained unnamed, reportedly told the publication.
‘Worst decision ever’: Channel Nine boss Hugh Marks has come under fire for dumping cricket in favour for tennis after the Fourth Test saw a stellar ratings win for rival network Seven
Channel Nine dumped its broadcasting rights in favour of a $300 million investment in the Australian Open.
‘The season [cricket] goes from November to February and yields hundreds of premium sports broadcasting hours,’ the Nine executive continued.
‘The Australian Open [tennis] goes for a fortnight. This Test was a great series against India and it had the nation glued to their TVs.’
Channel Seven certainly had a win last week with 3.68 million viewers tuning in across the day to watch the match.
By contrast, the Australian Open looks set to see players out due to the continuing calamity of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Heavy hitter: By contrast, the Australian Open looks set to see players out due to the continuing calamity of the worldwide Covid pandemic. Pictured: Roger Federer
The report went on to say the dumped deal was also a lost opportunity with the networks usually using the time to promote their upcoming TV schedule.
Channel Nine will instead use the airtime to draw in viewers with two Married At First Sight specials along with new episodes of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
The sale of the rights by Cricket Australia has been controversial, as Seven previously threatening to walk away from its new six-year, $450 million deal.
Nine’s Hugh Marks told the Sydney Morning Herald in September last year that while the deal was in doubt the network might once again bid for it.
New home: Nine’s Hugh Marks told the Sydney Morning Herald in September last year that while the deal was in doubt the network might once again bid for it