Whisper Films has won the contract to produce England international cricket highlights for UK public broadcaster the BBC, it has been reported.
It will produce around 40 hours of highlights of test matches, one day internationals and T20 fixtures, according to the BroadcastNow website.
The contract runs to the end of 2021, with a three-year extension option.
It is claimed that Whisper fought off one other major sports producer to win the rights after a three-month bidding process.
The BBC acquired the cricket highlights rights in 2017 as part of a five-year deal with the English Cricket Board, running from 2020 to 2024. The rights also comprise non-exclusive live rights to 21 selected national team and domestic matches per year, as well as clips and radio rights
Whisper’s deal with the BBC follows the recent reported renewal of its Formula 1 production contract in the UK with commercial broadcaster Channel 4.
Under that deal, Whisper is expected to produce live coverage of the 2020 British Grand Prix for the channel, plus highlights of all 22 races through the F1 season. It is unclear whether the contract extends for the length of Channel 4’s new F1 sublicensing deal with pay-television broadcaster Sky, which runs for the three years from 2020 to 2022.
The production renewal is not a surprise given the close links between the pair: Channel 4 holds a 25-per-cent stake in Whisper, which is also part-owned by ex-F1 driver David Coulthard. The broadcaster’s F1 coverage is fronted by Coulthard.
Whisper also produced Channel 4’s coverage of the inaugural 2019 edition of W-Series, the women’s motorsport competition. Coulthard is a shareholder in W-Series and sits on its advisory board.