BeIN opens up to new sport with Cricket Australia deal

BeIN Media Group has made its first move into the cricket rights sector after signing a long-term partnership with the Cricket Australia national governing body.

The exclusive six-year partnership begins with the 2017-18 Ashes series between Australia and England. BeIN’s coverage of the Ashes will begin on November 23.

BeIN said the agreement marks the biggest ever cricket board rights deal for the Middle East and North Africa region.

The deal will also cover South Africa’s 2018 tour of Australia, India’s 2018-19 tour of Australia and the Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League Twenty20 competitions.

All coverage will be available in high definition via subscription channels and online, with selected matches to be shown on beIN’s new 4K channel.

The agreement covers all international Test, one-day and Twenty20 matches for the men’s and women’s Australian national teams in its home country. BeIN’s coverage will be available in more than 24 countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Egypt and Morocco.

Yousef Al-Obaidly, deputy chief executive at beIN Media Group, said: “It is important that we deliver on our promise to broadcast the very best global sports and events, and this is yet another significant milestone on this journey. The audience for cricket in the Middle East and North Africa is growing at an unprecedented pace, and viewers are rightly demanding better, more comprehensive, in-depth coverage.”