BT Sport ousts Sky for Cricket Australia rights package

BT Sport has dislodged rival UK pay-television broadcaster Sky as the live rights-holder for the next Ashes cricket series between England and Australia in 2017-18.

BT Sport has secured the exclusive rights as part of a deal with the Cricket Australia governing body that will run for five years, from 2016-17 to 2020-21.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, BT Sport will pay £80m (€109m/$125m) over five years, or £16m per year. Cricket Australia’s four-year deal with Sky, from 2012-13 to 2015-16, is worth about £12.5m per year.

BT Sport will show a total of 210 days of international Australian cricket action over the course of the deal, including all national team Test matches, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches in Australia, including the five-match Ashes Test series.

Multiple series against nations such as New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan will also be broadcast on BT Sport.

The rights also include the women’s Ashes and the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League tournaments for men and women.

BT Sport has also acquired free-to-air rights that includes daily highlights of international matches and the Big Bash League, as well as one Big Bash League ‘match of the round’ broadcast live and free each week.

The deal marks a significant move by BT Sport into cricket, with the broadcaster only currently having rights to the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament.