Channel Seven has called to cancel the Big Bash competition after a dispute with Cricket Australia.
Seven West Media are trying to push CA to offload the summer league due to a decline in star athletes and huge losses in advertising revenue.
The broadcaster believes due to the coronavirus pandemic the league cannot produce the same level of product and are entitled to a reduction in their $82million contract.
Seven believe the competition will fade in quality with matches forced to play in hubs and reduced star power from an extended Test squad, The Age reported.
Channel Seven are pushing for Cricket Australia to cancel the Big Bash League. Pictured: the Sydney Sixers celebrate after winning BBL09 in February
Seven also claimed ratings and attendances were falling, despite CA recording an average of 185,000 more viewers per match than the NRL and AFL last season.
The network has proposed changes to the Test match schedule to finish after the New Year match in Sydney as they make more money from advertising during the holiday period.
A payment of $32million is due on Tuesday, though Seven is unlikely to foot the bill, with Foxtel to pay $25million in their broadcasting contract.
Sources from Seven claim the Big Bash league is significantly impacted by international matches, leaving few big name athletes available to play regularly in the competition.
Haris Rauf from the Melbourne Stars celebrates after taking a hat trick against the Sydney Thunder in January
The Test squad of more than 20 players will travel in a bio-security bubble for international touring, leaving fewer players available to compete in the Big Bash.
The network would be refunded if the competition was cancelled.
CA chief executive Nick Hockley was optimistic for the upcoming season.
‘We couldn’t be more excited to be scheduling a full Big Bash tournament,’ he said.
‘The BBL is a much loved feature of the Australian summer and will continue to play its role in bringing families together over the school holidays. That’s more important this year than ever before after such a tough winter.’
Spectators cheer at the Gabba in Brisbane during a match between the Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Sixers in January