Live cricket returns to the BBC after 21-year break as authorities bag £1.1bn payday

 
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England v New Zealand - 4th ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2015
A new dawn? Cricket authorities hailed the impact the media rights investment would have on the game (Source: Getty)

Sky and the BBC will fork out £1.1bn for England cricket media rights in a deal authorities promise "will fuel the future of our game".

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) this morning revealed "ground-breaking deals" with the two media giants. As part of the agreement, the BBC will show live cricket for the first time in 21 years when it takes force from 2020.

ECB sources said the value of the accord is "significantly more" than previous deals agreed by England's cricketing authority.

Sky will lead the five-year deal, with live rights to all England home Tests, ODIs and T20s, women’s matches and county cricket.

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Meanwhile, the BBC will broadcast annual live TV coverage of two men's international T20 matches, one England women's T20 international, 10 men's matches from the ECB's New T20 competition and up to eight matches from the women's T20 tournament, including both finals.

The rights also preserve the BBC's famous Test Match Special radio coverage.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said the deal was a "great result for cricket".

He added:

Together, these new deals will deliver the partnership, distribution and investment that will fuel the future of our game.

Harrison continued that Sky offered a "true partnership". The BBC, he said, were "valuable long-term partners".

Managing director of Sky Sports Barney Francis said: "This is a ground-breaking agreement that represents a new and exciting approach to sports rights in this country."

Meanwhile, Barbara Slater, a director of BBC Sport, said: "This will lead to a step change in the BBC's coverage of cricket across TV, radio and digital platforms."

Sky, which was replaced by HSBC as the sponsor of grassroots British Cycling at the start of the year, said it wants to replicate some of its cycling initiatives to encourage the public to get involved in cricket.

Francis said:

Drawing on our experience of getting millions on their bikes with our successful eight-year Sky Ride initiative, we are committed to working with the ECB to help grow the game at all levels.

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