Channel Seven will continue to broadcast matches despite ongoing dispute with Cricket Australia

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Channel Seven have confirmed that they will continue their free-to-air telecast of Australia’s home season matches despite the ongoing dispute with Cricket Australia (CA), The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday (September 14). They added that matches would continue to be shown until their $450 million contract was terminated.

Channel Seven and CA are engaged in legal battle with Seven filing a breach of contract notice against the board due to the scheduling issues. Seven has threatened to terminate their contract with CA’s alleged poor handling of the international and domestic calendar for the 2020-21 season. They had signed a six-year contract with CA worth $450 million in 2018.

Australia are set to return to the field after a gap of more than six months when the women’s team hosts New Zealand at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane in a six-match limited overs series – three T20Is and three ODIs – beginning on September 26.

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The broadcasters have been concerned about the uncertainty regarding the scheduling amid COVID-19 pandemic and raised their corners with CA about the “quality” of the season.

Apart from the Australia women’s series against New Zealand, CA have only finalised the dates of the Men’s and Women’s Big Bash Leagues. They have already tweaked the WBBL schedule, with all the games set to be played in Sydney with the travel restrictions and safety concerns that have arisen owing to the pandemic.

There have been reports about Seven wanting the men’s Big Bash League (BBL) to be scrapped and demanded clarity over the schedule for the summer. The delay in announcement of Australia men’s series against India has further escalated matters.

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Earlier in August, interim CEO Nick Hockley admitted the challenges of the scheduling amidst the pandemic, but promised to deliver a full international summer.

“Scheduling during a pandemic has no doubt been challenging, particularly when factoring in the added complexities associated with international travel, but solid progress is being made. We’re working through the schedules at the moment and there’s going to be lots of great cricket and I think the main thing is we’re committed to delivering the full international summer and to deliver a full BBL,” Hockley said.