BT Sport has outbid Sky to become the home of the 2017/18 Australia vs England Ashes, and will show all Australian home cricket internationals live in the UK, from 2016 to 2021. The broadcaster snatched the cricket coverage rights from rival Sky, winning a five-year deal which is reported to have cost around £16 million per year. Sky had previously paid £50 million for a four-year deal.
BT Sport will 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. Multiple series against nations such as New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan will also be broadcast on the channel.
The rights also include the 35 KFC Big Bash League matches, the women’s Ashes and the women’s T20 Big Bash League.
“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,” commented Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport. “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 builds on BT’s existing cricket coverage of the annual Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament.
Cricket Australia executive general manager of media, communications and marketing Ben Amarfio commented: “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.”