Sky Sports has beaten off competition from other broadcasting rivals after winning the rights to show some of international cricket’s biggest events over the next eight years.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday it has sold the rights to 18 cricket tournaments to Star Group, which is also part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and has an exclusive broadcasting agreement with Sky in UK and Ireland.
The deal means Sky Sports will have the rights to show live coverage of 14 tournaments between 2015 and 2023 including the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Champions Trophy.
“We’re delighted to be awarded the ICC rights and strengthen Sky Sports’ unrivalled commitment to cricket even further,” Sky Sports managing director, Barney Francis, said.
“Our cricket schedule keeps getting stronger and by adding events such as the World Cup, World Twenty20 and Champions Trophy, we’ve never offered our viewers such choice from all formats of the game,” he added.
Sky Sports has secured 24 deals this year, including US Open and Masters golf, the British and Irish Lions 2017, and the Top 14 rugby union.
The ICC said it received 17 bids for the contract. It did not disclose the value of the rights fee agreed with Star. It is said to be worth around £1.5bn.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “Star has been an excellent partner for the ICC during the current rights cycle ... I am pleased we have a chance to build on that success over the next eight years on a global level.”