Australian broadcaster Channel 07 has lambasted Cricket Australia for being ‘terrified’ of the BCCI- the sports most powerful governing body- while lodging an affidavit with the court in Melbourne in a pre-discovery action.
Channel 07, who holds the free-to-air broadcasting rights of Australian international summer, has accused Cricket Australia of catering to BCCI’s demands and making last-minute changes to the schedule of the ongoing India tour of Australia.
Miffed with the last-minute changes to the schedule, the broadcaster has sought access to the confidential mail exchanges between CA and the BCCI. For the uninitiated, Channel 07 wanted Cricket Australia to kickstart the much-vaunted summer with the four-match Test series. Instead, CA went ahead and scheduled the limited-overs internationals before the Test matches.
“It’s a shame that the cricket administration have kept their head in the sand. They really don’t value us as a broadcaster, preferring to outperform to the BCCI, who they are terrified of,” James Warburton, Channel 7 West Media chief executive, was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
Channel 07 miffed with Cricket Australia’s last-minute schedule changes
Channel 07 has also alleged Cricket Australia of pandering to the wishes of the BCCI and other domestic broadcasters like Foxtel, which is a pay channel, holding exclusive rights to broadcast the limited-overs fixture.
The rescheduling of the entire Indian tour of Australia and the fact that Indian skipper Virat Kohli will only be available for the first Test gives Channel 07 just five days of cashing in the popularity of the biggest superstar in the game currently.
According to an Australian daily, if the broadcaster succeeds in ”proving before the court that CA breached its 450 million dollar contract with Seven- of which Seven pays 70 million in cash every year- then the network could be awarded tens of millions of dollars in damages or look to terminate the deal, which has three years to run”