Nine emerged as a genuine contender to reclaim cricket TV rights

Channel Nine has emerged as a genuine contender to reclaim Australian cricket’s TV rights, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne.

Nine, who hosted the cricket for 40 years, have entered discussions at the 11th hour as the report suggests Seven’s hopes of keeping hold of the sport are fading.

While Channel 10 and their US owner Paramount are the leading bidder with a reported offer of $1.5 billion, the report suggests Cricket Australia are nervous about partnering with the network compared to rivals Nine or Seven.

It’s also believed Cricket Australia are unsure of Paramount’s reach as a streaming service compared to Kayo Sports and Fox Sports.

Given their hesitancy to partner with 10, the report says Cricket Australia has worked in the background to see if a partnership could be formed with Nine, Fox Sports and News Corp.

While Cricket Australia is open to partnering with Nine, they’d have to compete with the Australian Open after the network recommitted to the summer of tennis.

In another twist, Seven are currently suing Cricket Australia in Federal Court for failing to perform their contractual obligations, but reports suggest the network has promised to drop court action if it wins the TV rights.

Ten’s current $1.5 billion bid is for a seven-year contract that includes the rights to Test matches and ODIs plus the BBL and WBBL.

Photo: Channel Nine

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