ECB on verge of major Asian rights deal with ESS

The England and Wales Cricket Board is set to announce a new rights deal worth $200 million (€153 million) with pan-Asian broadcaster ESPN Star Sports.

UK newspaper The Telegraph reports the deal will run from 2013 to 2015, with an option to extend for two years.

The fee is understood to be a major increase on the value of ESS’s previous deal with the ECB, from 2008 to 2012.

The agreement will include the rights to English domestic and international cricket. The value was boosted by India’s two tours to England during the contract period.

The two parties are reported to have agreed the terms of the deal, but may delay its announcement until England’s Test series against South Africa later this summer, and until the conclusion of the Danish Kaneria-Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing disciplinary case.

The ECB has previously been criticised for opening up county cricket to corruption by selling domestic television rights in Asia. The new ESS deal will reportedly see anti-corruption security in line with international matches introduced at county one-day games which are televised live.