ECB agrees new Sky Sports deal
The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced a new broadcasting agreement with Sky Sports for the next four-year cycle from 2014-17.
Sky Sports has won the rights to show live domestic and international cricket in England and Wales as part of a package which includes all England’s home Test, one-day international and Twenty20 series, selected England Lions and England women’s fixtures plus 60 days of domestic cricket every season.
Following last week’s announcement of a new six-year deal with BBC Radio, ECB’s broadcasting agreements for the next contractual cycle will deliver an overall increase in revenues compared with the previous four-year period.
The ECB’s agreement with Sky Sports also includes an option to extend for a further two years, which would encompass tours by India in 2018 and Australia in 2019.
The awarding of TV rights followed an open tender process in which all broadcasters were invited to bid for a variety of packages which included the rights to individual Test matches, series or competitions, and a mixture of live and highlights programming.
ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: “Sky Sports has raised the bar for all live television broadcasters with its innovative, informed and comprehensive coverage of cricket and we are very pleased to renew this agreement for a further four years.
“No-one should be in any doubt that our partnership with Sky has been of immense benefit to the wider game. World-class support structures for our successful England teams, major ground improvements at county level, a flourishing coach education programme and a five per cent increase in participation at our ‘Focus’ clubs are all by-products of this relationship."
ECB chief executive David Collier said: “Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of broadcasting and sponsorship agreements concluded by our commercial team which will bring additional revenues into our game and be welcomed by all our key stakeholders.
“The sheer breadth and quality of Sky’s coverage, which encompasses the main domestic competitions as well as key recreational events like the Barbados Cockspur T20 Cup final, demonstrates their passion for the sport and we look forward to working with them over the next four years.
“On behalf of ECB, I would like to thank both our commercial committee and our commercial department for their efforts, which will be hugely appreciated by everyone within the game.”
Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is good news for cricket and good news for viewers. Our viewers will enjoy a breadth of live coverage, at domestic and international level, and the ECB extends a partnership that has proved good for the game.”
He continued: “Cricket is flourishing in England and Wales with increased participation, record attendances and success for England’s men and women. Through extending our partnership, the ECB can invest on and off the pitch and the game can continue to grow.”