Cricket TV rights

BT Sport bags rights for The Ashes down under

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

BT Sport pips Sky Sports to rights for Ashes in Australia 2017/2018

Related tags Bt sport International cricket council Cricket

BT Sport will air England’s defence of the Ashes in Australia in 2017/18 after winning a five-year rights deal.

BT Sport will also show all Australian Test Matches, One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals played in Australia, including the five-match Ashes Test Series against rivals England in 2017/18.

The deal will be seen as a blow to SkySports, and adds to BT’s growing repertoire, having bagged Champions League and Premier League fixtures for the upcoming season.

But SkySports will still show home internationals, due to a deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board to show all home internationals until 2019.

The broadcasters' rivalry began when competing for next season’s Premier League matches, which ballooned the price of TV rights to £5.1bn, when Sky retained the majority of matches.

According to the Daily Mail, BT Sport’s deal with Cricket Australia was secured for £80m.

It includes all Australia’s matches from 2016-2021, when the Aussies take on New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan.

BT Sport will air 35 KFC Big Bash League matches, which see international stars flocking down under, including South African legend Jacques Kallis and former England international Kevin Pietersen.BT Sport will also show the women’s Ashes and the women’s T20 Big Bash League.

Between now and 2020, Sky Sports will show all England home Test matches, including Pakistan and India tours in 2018 and the Ashes in 2019, all One-Day internationals and Twenty20 international matches plus the ICC World Cup T20 2016 and 2020, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

In 2017 and 2018, Sky Sports will show England against New Zealand, India, South Africa, Australia, West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland, Scotland as well as the ICC Champions Trophy on home soil.

Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport, said: “BT Sport is delighted to be adding international cricket to its line-up, and to be the new home of the next Ashes tour in Australia.We will show live domestic games featuring the best players in the world during the Big Bash League and all Australian home matches for the next five years.”

The deal with Cricket Australia includes a free-to-air rights package of daily highlights of international matches and the Big Bash League.

BT Sport’s focus on cricket builds on its deal for the Caribbean Premier League T20, featuring some of the world’s biggest stars such as Chris Gayle.

Cricket Australia executive general manager of media, communications and marketing Ben Amarfio said the agreement signalled a new era in Australian cricket broadcasting.

“We are delighted to be entering into this important new partnership with BT Sport,” Amarfio said.

“BT Sport put forward a highly compelling bid for the rights to broadcast cricket from Australia to audiences throughout the United Kingdom.

“They are uniquely placed to become one of the UK’s largest sports channels and we think cricket can provide the content and opportunities to help them do just that.

“With more cricket content now available via BT Sport, free-to-air television and through our digital platforms, we are making the game more accessible to more people. The principle of taking the game to more people is very important in our efforts to grow the game.”

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