Telstra who has a close relationship with News LTD via their Foxtel partnership recently moved to slash jobs with up to 55 personnel set to be retrenched as the telco moves to improve revenue from their Foxtel pay-TV subscription service which is struggling to hold onto subscribers and has failed to attract users to their recently changed movie download service.
Telstra in partnership with Foxtel has also cut the amount of movies a subscriber gets with their Foxtel subscription which can cost up to $150 per month for two Foxtel boxes in a home.
Despite claims, 18 months ago the smartphone company has failed to secure first run movies for their IPTV Telstra T-Box and digital content service which is set to be moved to a common digital set top box which will be shared with Foxtel.
Currently Telstra has rights deals with the AFL, NRL, racing and subscription music services such as Mogg.
Telstra's head of digital media, Mark Buckman, told the Australian newspaper, "We've got no plans in the cricket space. We will always look at every opportunity as they present themselves if we think they are going to provide a compelling piece of content to our customers and if we think that we can make a business case out of it and make money out of it. But at this point we haven't got any plans to pursue anything with Cricket Australia in that respect."
There is also speculation that the Nine Network could drop their Cricket coverage if they cannot negotiate "satisfactory" rights fees for a sport that is fast losing interest with Australians.
Rick Ellis, the head of Telstra's $2 billion a year revenue-generating media business, said late last year he had set his sights on securing sporting and premium television content rights as part of a major push with its IPTV services this year.
Now it appears that the telco is having a rethink as consumers turn to Soccer and other sports over cricket.
The Australian Media team claims that the Ten Network is leading the race for the cricket rights with a bid of as much as $350 million to snare the television broadcast rights from an incumbent Nine Entertainment.
A package deal of television broadcast with digital rights could allow TV networks to exploit cricket's rich data and push viewers to multiple screens which could be exposed to more and new advertisers the Australian claimed.