Nine Entertainment has ended in long-running regional affiliation deal with Bruce Gordon’s WIN TV to sign a new five-year arrangement with Macquarie Bank-owned Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).
Under the terms of the deal, which begins on July 1, SCA will pay Nine 50% of its television revenue. In return, SCA will broadcast Nine’s metropolitan free-to-air television content, including The Voice, The Block, NRL and cricket, into regional Queensland, Southern NSW and regional Victoria. SCA will provide national sales services for Nine’s NBN channel in Northern NSW and NTD9 in Darwin.
The switch comes after WIN launched legal action over the streaming service NineNow, a fight it lost yesterday. Relations between the two broadcasters had been strained for several months as Nine pushed for a bigger slice on WIN’s revenue under the old affiliation deal, which dates back nearly 30 years to the start of aggregation.
Bruce Gordon is Nine’s largest shareholder private investment vehicle, Birketu, with close to a 15% stake. The 87-year-old billionaire is also the Ten Network’s biggest shareholder with nearly 15%, and the switch by Nine is likely to see WIN align more strongly with Ten, which it already has several affiliate arrangements with in regional Australia.
The affiliation deal circumvents the federal government’s existing “reach rule”, which stops TV owners broadcasting to more than 75% of the population, a law the industry wants scrapped.
Nine CEO Hugh Marks said the deal with SCA was “a great outcome”.
“We are confident that, together, we will offer a premium viewing experience for audiences and a best in class platform for advertisers,” he said.