BT Sport wins rights to broadcast 2017/18 Ashes series from Australia
BT Sport has won the rights to show live coverage of the next Ashes series from Australia.
The broadcaster has signed a five-year agreement with Cricket Australia that will see it show international and domestic cricket from Australia from 2016 to 2021.
That includes the 2017/18 Ashes series, which will see England defend the urn over five test matches.
BT Sport will show all Australian test matches, one day internationals and T20 internationals played in Australia – starting in October 2016 when South Africa are the visitors.
The rights also include the KFC Big Bash League, which attracts stars including former England batsman Kevin Pietersen and South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis.
BT Sport has also secured the rights to a free-to-air package that includes daily highlights of international matches and one Big Bash League ‘match of the round’ shown live each week.
The deal with Cricket Australia is in addition to BT Sport’s broadcasting of the annual Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament.
Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport, said: “BT Sport is delighted to be adding international cricket to its line-up, and to be the new home of the next Ashes tour in Australia.
“We will show live domestic games featuring the best players in the world during the Big Bash League and all Australian home matches for the next five years.”
Ben Amarfio, Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of media, communications and marketing, said the agreement signalled a new era in Australian cricket broadcasting.
“BT Sport put forward a highly compelling bid for the rights to broadcast cricket from Australia to audiences throughout the United Kingdom.
“They are uniquely placed to become one of the UK’s largest sports channels and we think cricket can provide the content and opportunities to help them do just that.
“With more cricket content now available via BT Sport, free-to-air television in the UK and through our digital platforms, we are making the game more accessible to more people. The principle of taking the game to more people is very important in our efforts to grow the game.”
Mr Amarfio thanked Cricket Australia’s previous UK rights-holder Sky Sports for its contribution to the broadcast of Australian cricket.
“We would like to thank Sky Sports for its commitment to Australian cricket over several decades where it produced an informative, innovative and entertaining broadcast of the game that was truly world-class.
“We have enjoyed a great working relationship and are indebted to them for their investment in and support of the game.”
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