Australian cricket fans will have access to more cricket coverage than ever following what is described as a “landmark” partnership with FOX SPORTS and Seven West Media, announced by the sport’s governing body Cricket Australia (CA). The deal sees long-time broadcaster Channel 9 lose the coverage rights.
The new six-year broadcast and digital partnership, which includes a dedicated FOX Cricket channel, will result in overall benefit to the sport worth A$1.182 billion (€747bn) over six years.
Men’s International Cricket will take a new shape, with Seven and FOX SPORTS broadcasting all Test Matches throughout the summer. FOX SPORTS will exclusively broadcast Men’s Gillette One-Day and T20 Internationals.
Women’s cricket has also been placed at the forefront of the partnership with all Women’s Commonwealth Bank International matches and 23 Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) matches each season to be broadcast on Seven and FOX SPORTS. CA will live stream the remaining WBBL matches on cricket.com.au and the CA Live App.
Seven will broadcast 43 KFC Big Bash League matches, in what will turn the league into a full Home and Away season, while FOX SPORTS will broadcast 16 matches exclusively, and simulcast the remainder.
Additionally, FOX SPORTS will broadcast 13 JLT One-Day Cup matches and the JLT Sheffield Shield Final, along with some Tour matches.
Both networks will broadcast the Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark Award night live.
There will also be a new digital partnership between FOX SPORTS and CA’s digital arm, Cricket Network. This partnership will bring more content than ever to Cricket Australia Live App and cricket.com.au users.
Cricket Australia will continue to deliver broadcast-quality streaming of matches not broadcast by the two networks including International tour matches, non-broadcast JLT One-Day Cup and JLT Sheffield Shield matches, all available through cricket.com.au and the CA Live Pass. Fans will also still be able to access all the highlights they have come to enjoy through cricket.com.au and Cricket Australia Live.
According to Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland, the strong interest in broadcasting cricket represents a transformative opportunity for Australian Cricket. “We’d like to acknowledge everyone who took part in this process. It’s fair to say that the interest in our rights during this process has been unprecedented. Our thanks go to Channel Nine, who for more than 40 years has broadcast international cricket at a world-renowned standard – and in so doing has done more to promote our sport than any organisation in Australian cricket history.”
“Our sincere thanks also to Network Ten for their role in taking the Big Bash League to a new level, and for so willingly providing a platform to launch and grow the Women’s Big Bash League. As a start-up League, the BBL is a phenomenal success story. Over the last five years Ten has made an extraordinary contribution to the league and its growth in bringing new fans to cricket.”
“We have nothing but gratitude and respect for Nine and Ten – and sincerely thank them for their contribution to our sport. We’re very excited about what the future holds with both Fox Sports and Seven West Media. This sets the game up to be in even stronger shape, as we are on track to exceed 1.5 million participants this season.”
“This revolutionary deal will enable increased investment in grassroots cricket through our programs and further developing facilities, expanding new participation formats to grow junior cricket, supporting clubs and associations to grow the game for women and girls and more investment in the talent pathway to develop Australia’s next generation of cricketers.”
“What we are particularly proud of in this partnership is the focus on extending our broadcast coverage of women’s matches. Our partners are key to inspiring more women and girls to pick up a bat and ball. If more elite content is accessible to fans be it on TV or through their mobile devices, we’re helping tap into new audiences to attract them to the sport.”
“I would like to pay tribute to Patrick Delany and Fox Sports, along with Tim Worner and Seven West Media for their belief in cricket. We are very excited to be partnering with them and look forward to what they will bring as we grow cricket as Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians.
“FOX SPORTS Australia will show every ball of every over bowled in Australia delivered with our trademark energy and creativity, on a dedicated new home, FOX Cricket,” advised Foxtel CEO, Patrick Delany. “We know Australians love and respect cricket and so do we. We will give fans the most compelling, entertaining and innovative coverage of cricket with more choices, more games, more programmes. It will be cricket like they have never experienced before. Get ready. Cricket fans will finally be able to enjoy cricket in the way they want and choose,” he concluded.
Seven Network CEO, Tim Worner added: “This is a great deal – for Seven, for our viewers, our advertisers, our shareholders and for the game itself. Cricket fans will be able to see the best produced Cricket, live and free on Australia’s number one FTA Network. Seven has always been the innovator in FTA sports coverage in Australia – from RaceCam in the 70s, to setting the standard in how AFL is covered, televising more Olympic Games than any other TV station, and introducing cutting-edge technologies and multi-channel coverage before anyone else.”
“And for Cricket Australia, it means the unbridled support of Australia’s number one Network and the best sports partners bar none. We will be unrelenting in our efforts to lift cricket to new levels,” he asserted.