Sky Sports has signed a new four-year agreement securing exclusive rights to England’s home cricket games until at least 2017.
The deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) includes all home Test, One Day and T20 matches, as well as at least 60 days of domestic cricket, and applies to TV, mobile and online delivery. Sky will also show some England Lions and women’s matches.
Sky has had exclusive rights to home Test and One Day matches since the end of the 2005 Ashes – screened by Channel 4 and the last to be shown on non-pay TV.
The new deal extends an existing agreement that lasted until 2013 and offers an option of a further two years until 2019, which would include three consecutive Ashes series.
Last week, the BBC secured the rights to broadcast radio coverage of England’s home internationals until 2019.
Sky’s original deal with the ECB in 2005 led to outrage from some cricket fans that they would be unable to watch live coverage for free but ECB chairman Giles Clarke said the benefits were huge: “No one should be in any doubt that our partnership with Sky has been of immense benefit to the wider game.
“[Sky Sports] have raised the bar for all live television broadcasters with its innovative, informed and comprehensive coverage of cricket.
“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.”
Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis 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.”