Sky Sports has extended its broadcast partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board until 2019, increasing its commitment to English cricket for a further two years.
The agreement offers cricket fans unprecedented coverage of England home fixtures, county matches, women’s and age grade cricket, and will take the existing partnership into its 14th year.
Sky says the deal also enables English cricket to continue its record levels of investment at all levels of the game, which have since 2006 helped to transform the sport on pitch and off, including England becoming the number one Test team in the world.
The coverage includes:
Test Matches – all of England’s Test matches played at home, including series against Pakistan and India in 2018 and the Ashes in 2019
Internationals – all One-Day Internationals and T20 matches, including Australia in 2018 and Pakistan in 2019, as well as some women’s and England Lions matches
County matches – at least 60 days of domestic cricket each summer covering each of the major competitions and featuring every county
Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said the broadcaster was passionate about its commitment to the game, including the men and women’s England teams and the County set up, and was “delighted” to extend its partnership with the ECB. “Since 2006, our viewers have enjoyed the incredible successes of the England team, including three Ashes victories, winning the ICC World Twenty20 and becoming the number one Test team in the world. We look forward to continuing the partnership until at least 2019,” he added.
Brian Havill, the ECB Acting Chief Executive, said the extended broadcasting contract demonstrated Sky’s their belief in the ECB as well as the international, women’s and county game. “This decision continues Sky’s unwavering commitment to cricket in England and Wales at every level for a further two years,” he noted.
“In the last decade their loyalty and quality as a broadcasting partner has been beyond question and has benefited the game in so many ways. In that period there has been an unprecedented level of investment in the county game, including facilities, the grass-roots, particularly coaching, and of course the England men’s and women’s teams. Now in this, Sky’s 10th season as the exclusive live broadcaster, that determination to support the game shines through with the announcement that every ball of the England women’s Ashes series will be shown live,” he concluded.
Sky Sports says the extension further cements its position as the home of cricket, giving viewers a year-round global schedule, that as well as England internationals and domestic cricket, includes cricket from Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies, as well as over 60 IPL matches for the first time this year and international cricket’s biggest events through the ICC rights, including the ICC World Cup in February.
The announcement will allow the ECB to continue to deliver record investment across all levels of the recreational, first-class and international game. Since 2006, when Sky became the ECB’s principal live TV broadcast partner, over £150 million has been invested to help strengthen the game, by improving international, First Class and local facilities, as well recruiting over 45,000 more grass-roots coaches and over 2 million state school children to take up the game.