Sky Sports agrees new five-year deal to broadcast cricket

CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH - OCTOBER 20: Joe Root of England bats during the first Test match between Bangladesh and England at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on October 20, 2016 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Sky Sports has agreed a new five-year partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board that includes live rights to international and county cricket from 2020 – including every match from the new T20 competition.

Taking its partnership with English cricket into its third decade, the deal will give bars and pubs more live cricket than ever before. It comes ahead of a busy summer of cricket including England’s first Test against South Africa starting on July 6.

The agreement means that between now and 2024, Sky Sports will be the only place to watch live coverage of all England home Tests, ODIs and T20s, women’s matches and county cricket. Launching in 2020, Sky Sports will also be the only place where pub-goers can enjoy all matches from the new eight-team T20 competition.

Following its hugely successful Sky Ride cycling initiative which created interest and participation amongst millions of people of all ages, Sky will also work with ECB to develop a new participation and engagement approach to help deliver the ECB’s ambitions to grow the game at all levels. Working with the game’s partners, including the BBC, will provide another opportunity to inspire more fans to enjoy the sport.

David Rey, managing director of Sky Business, said: “Cricket is the ideal summer sport for pub goers to enjoy so it’s really important that we continue to bring our customers the best possible coverage of the sport. The extension of our partnership with the ECB means that landlords can look forward to showing even more fantastic cricket through to 2024 and the business opportunity that brings.

“And with England’s first Test against South Africa starting on July 6, this summer promises to be one to remember for cricket fans and pub goers up and down the country.”

Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive officer, added: “Sky Sports have offered a true partnership – more than a broadcast deal – with their shared vision for cricket. Their innovation and production standards are widely acclaimed. Here, they further increase their live commitment and have added bold ideas to drive engagement and to help to get a bat and ball in more hands.”

Alongside England home cricket for the next seven years, bars and pubs can look forward to showing the new domestic T20 competition launching in 2020, NatWest T20 Blast, County Championship plus the women’s KIA Super League. The Sky Sports cricket schedule also includes England in ICC competitions until 2023 and upcoming tours to Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies.

Cricket is part of a year-round schedule of sport on Sky Sports offering 65,000 hours across seven channels. Coverage includes the best matches from the Premier League, every Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend, British and Irish Lions and England rugby plus golf’s Majors.

The BAFTA award-winning cricket team on Sky Sports includes analysis from Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, David Lloyd, Ian Ward, Michael Holding and Shane Warne. Sky has pioneered innovations that have had a lasting impact on the sport, including ball tracking, Hot-Spot, HD and Ultra HD coverage, ultra-motion cameras, Batcam, and Spidercam this summer for the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s.

Picture: Sky Sports/Getty Images

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