Sky snaps up long-term cricket rights deals

UK pay-television broadcaster BSkyB has acquired rights for six England national cricket team overseas tours through to 2020 as part of new multi-year deals with the Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa and Board of Control for Cricket in India governing bodies.

The deal with Cricket Australia will run for four years, from 2012-13 to 2015-16, and will include next year’s Ashes series between England and Australia as well as England’s return to the country for the 2015 triangular series. The agreement also includes Australia’s home series against South Africa, West Indies, India and New Zealand and Australia’s domestic Twenty20 cricket Big Bash League.

The deal with Cricket South Africa will run for eight years, from 2012-13 to 2019-20, and will cover two England tours to the country as well as South Africa’s home series against New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Australia, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, as well as domestic Twenty20 matches.

The agreement with the Indian governing body will run for six years, from 2012-13 to 2017-18, and will include coverage of six England overseas series in the country as well as the India national team’s home Test matches.

Sky’s deals with Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa were brokered on behalf of the governing bodies by the IMG Media agency.

The international rights for Indian cricket are held by Star, a subsidiary of media conglomerate News Corporation, which is also parent company of BSkyB.

“Sky Sports has never offered greater depth and breadth of coverage and this series of rights renewals give us the strongest line up of live sport for our viewers to watch at home or on the move,” Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said.