Cricket rights bombshell: Paramount claims it ‘never made a formal bid’ for summer sport

Cricket Rights

Australia’s national summer sport: Paramount wanted all or nothing from Cricket Australia

Contrary to media reports over the past few weeks about a Paramount bid of $1.5b for cricket rights, the broadcaster today dropped a bombshell.

In a statement released just as Cricket Australia revealed Seven and Foxtel would remain its cricket partners for the next seven years, a Paramount ANZ spokesperson said: “Paramount never made a formal bid for the rights and did not actively pursue the rights over recent weeks.”

A Paramount spokesperson continued: “We understand the interest in the most recent cricket media rights process and while Paramount considered the rights on offer and, despite reports to the contrary by various media outlets, it became clear following consistent discussions with Cricket Australia, that our objectives and views on the future presentation of the sport and its value were not aligned.

“We are the only Australian media company with a suite of distribution platforms across free-to-air and free and paid streaming services, as well as access to a global content pipeline delivering unequalled flexibility and reach, allowing us to make prudent long-term business decisions.

“Paramount congratulates the successful consortium and wishes them and Cricket Australia well for the future.”

It is believed Paramount did indicate a level of interest but hadn’t been in discussions with Cricket Australia since early December when it became clear it wouldn’t be able to obtain FTA and subscription rights.

There has been unconfirmed speculation that at one stage of negotiations, both Cricket Australia and Foxtel were comfortable with Paramount’s 10 as a FTA-only partner.

Paramount is thought to believe there is little financial incentive to take FTA-only rights given the shift globally from FTA viewing to subscription platforms. Even after factoring in any halo impact from being a FTA cricket broadcaster, 10 is thought to believe it could have been unable to turn a profit.


With regard to Paramount+, the platform is thought to have recorded strong growth over the summer from a strong offering which has included a half-price subscription offer in December, the arrival of the biggest film of the year, Top Gun Maverick, and the release of the second Yellowstone spin-off, 1923, starring box office giants Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.

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