November 18, 2018 / 11:08 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Corporate regulator seeks action against former Tennis Australia directors

(Adds background on broadcast contract, attempts to seek comment)

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Australia’s corporate watchdog said on Monday it was seeking court action against certain former directors of Tennis Australia regarding a 2013 decision to award broadcasting rights to Seven West Media’s Seven Network.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleged that Harold Charles Mitchell and Stephen James Healy had withheld information from the Tennis Australia board when it decided in 2013 to award domestic broadcast rights for the Australian Open tournament to the Seven Network for a five-year period without a competitive tender process. (bit.ly/2DstB0t)

Seven had then paid more than A$100 million ($73.1 million) to secure the five-year contract to televise the Australian Open, one of tennis’ four major grand slams.

The broadcaster’s Channel 7 earlier this year lost the rights to televise the Australian Open to rival Channel 10, which belongs to Australia’s Ten Network.

Seven and Tennis Australia could not be immediately reached for comment, and neither could the offices of Mitchell and Healy.

$1 = 1.3672 Australian dollars Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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