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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
Aussies extend Nine TV agreement
Australian cricket
Cricket is an integral part of Nine's history and a key to Australia's sporting culture
Gary Fenton, Head of Sport, Nine Australia
Cricket Australia have signed a new seven-year TV rights deal with the Nine Network which will run from 2006-2013.

Nine have broadcast coverage of Test and one-day internationals since 1979.

"This new deal puts Australian cricket in a strong position to plan the future of our game," said Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland.

"It will allow us to focus on our objectives of driving and supporting participation levels through both school and club cricket."

Nine was founded by Kerry Packer, whose World Series Cricket split the game in two in the late 1970s.

In 1987, he sold Channel Nine to Alan Bond for 458m, only to regain control three years later for a cut-price 100m.

Last week CA chairman Bob Merriman cited Packer and Sir Don Bradman as the two most influential figures in Australian cricket over the past 100 years.

Financial details of the new agreement have not been revealed but it will see all international cricket in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia's two largest TV markets, being broadcast live for the first time.

In the past, Cricket Australia has restricted live coverage in case of an adverse effect on ticket sales, although it has been screened for sell-out games.

"Television has a unique ability to reach hundreds of thousands of households in a way no other medium can and there is no doubt cricket on television plays and important part in growing public interest in the sport," Sutherland added.

  • Tributes have been paid to former Australian Cricket Board chairman Bob Parish, who has died at the age of 89.

    Parish played a leading role in bringing about a settlement between Kerry Packer's World Series and the cricket establishment.

    "Bob was an incredible and remarkable servant of the game," said CA chairman Bob Merriman.

    "His dedication and his ability to work through challenges and difficulties, in particular those around the World Series Cricket agreement in 1979, was substantial."



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