FOR 56 years the Nine Network has been a force to be reckoned with. Today, it sits on the brink of collapse, threatened with the possibility of a financial coup de grace that will put it in the hands of the banks.
At stake is a $1 billion contract for NRL rights, a $500 million deal with the US studio Warner Bros and the future of Nine's $300 million cricket rights deal, which expires next March.
More importantly to Nine, whose power was built in a dynastic age when the Packers ruled it like a fiefdom, is something bankers cannot put a price on: pride.
Nine's supremacy in ratings terms was built on the unflinching belief that it alone was born to be the best. As its ratings dissipated against Seven, Nine's sense of self-belief has proven indestructible, even if it has been delusional at times.
As the bankers circle, Nine's fate now becomes the fate of many: its sports stakeholders - though sources say the NRL is insulated against any outcome - its programming output deals with the US and its blue-chip programs, such as The Voice.
Read more at Brisbanetimes.com.au
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.