Delany was instrumental in Foxtel securing cricket rights in 2018 as part of a landmark deal with Kerry Stokes’ Seven West Media, which involved paying $1.2 billion over six years for the rights to air summer Tests, one-dayers and the Big Bash League.
Test cricket won’t always be as unappealing as it was this past summer – the next two seasons feature the drawcards of India and then The Ashes series against England. But the waning popularity of the BBL will no doubt be setting off alarm bells inside Holt Street. Put simply, it looks as if both sides overpaid for rights that were not exclusive.
Put simply, it looks as if both sides overpaid for rights that were not exclusive.
And, if people did sign up to Kayo for the Rugby World Cup, only to drop the service once it finished in November, that could also prove awkward. It would demonstrate an audience still exists for the struggling code in Australia, although admittedly for its once-every-four years centrepiece tournament, which is a very different proposition to Super Rugby and Wallabies Tests that are about to be auctioned.
Foxtel’s impasse with Rugby Australia over its next broadcast rights deal, which first surfaced in these pages back in November, escalated dramatically this week.
Delany and Foxtel are bitterly upset with RA for taking rights to the code to a public tender for the first time in 25 years.
But the mass criticism levelled at RA and its chief executive Raelene Castle, not to mention mooted rival bidder Optus in News Corp papers, has raised eyebrows in both media and rugby circles.
It came across as desperate and defensive. Whether the pay-TV player truly walks away from the process remains to be seen.
Delany is trying to engineer an epic turnaround at Foxtel. The launch of a new entertainment streaming platform in the coming months will be crucial.