A very awkward scheduling clash looms on the horizon for Channel 7 which has the rights to both the summer of cricket and the Australian Open for 2019.
With the cricket schedule being released today, we now know the Brisbane day/night test match starting January 24th will be on at the same time as the men’s and women’s finals of the tennis.
Night’s one and two of the test will clash with the semi’s and night’s three and four with the women’s and men’s finals respectively.
Senior cricket writer Robert Craddock has broken down the intrigues of the clash and what Channel 7 might do.
“Now, there’s talk they might sell the rights to Channel 9 who of course have the rights for 2020, but if it doesn’t happen, that’s a very awkward little clash,” Craddock told SEN’s Whateley.
“Imagine trying to host the Australian Open tennis and a day/night test from the Gabba, that would be a nightmare scenario in a season where you’re trying to wrap your loving arms around a new product in cricket and make it as shiny as special as it can be.”
Craddock believes if Channel 7 retains the rights to both, they’ll prioritise the cricket over the tennis.
“I think they’d look forward and I think cricket would get Channel 7’s main station because that’s what they’re committed to for the next six years so if the Australian Open had to be burnt on Seven Two I think they’d do it,” he said.
“I would be expecting that they’d sell the rights to this year’s Australian Open to Channel 9, there’ll be all sorts of posturing over what it’s worth and who needs the schedule switch most, but I reckon it needs to happen.”
The Gabba test match has opened the summer of cricket for a number of years, but has been punted to the end of the summer in favour of the Adelaide test.
Craddock, a Queenslander himself, believes it’s a stern wake up call for his state.
“I agree with James Sutherland, your status is fluid and Brisbane’s been passed by the Adelaide Oval, it’s been passed by Optus Stadium, and it’s a warning to all grounds in Australia that you’ve got to improve yourself, you can’t stagnate as Brisbane has.”