Sky Sports takes prime rights as live cricket returns to the BBC in new ECB broadcast deal | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has revealed its broadcast partners for five seasons in the 2020–2024 period, with Sky gaining primary rights but also live coverage of the sport returning to the BBC for the first time in a generation.

skycricket 1july2017Taking its partnership with English cricket into its third decade, Sky Sports says that its deal will give cricket fans more live games than ever before. The pay-TV company Sky Sports has agreed a new five-year partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board that includes live rights to international and county cricket from 2020 - including every match from the new T20 competition and what it calls a ‘ground-breaking’ commitment to drive participation and further interest in the game.

Sky says that it will also work with ECB to develop a new participation and engagement approach to help deliver the governing body’s ambitions to grow the game at all levels.

In 2016, Sky’s cricket coverage reached nearly 8 million viewers.  As well as live match coverage that includes over 200 England matches home and abroad between now and 2024, Sky Sports will provide coverage and support across its TV, mobile, digital and social platforms. This includes round-the-clock news, views and highlights on Sky Sports News HQ, and Sky’s digital and social media outlets. “At Sky Sports we love cricket,” remarked Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports. “This is a ground-breaking agreement that represents a new and exciting approach to sports rights in this country...We will continue to innovate in our coverage and make it accessible across our channels, products and services... We are committed to working with the ECB to help grow the game at all levels.”

For its part, the BBC said that it was delighted with its free to air part of the deal that will see in total over 100 hours of cricket back on BBC TV from 2020. It will offer live TV coverage of two England men’s international T20 matches, one England women’s T20 international plus live TV coverage of ten men’s matches from the ECB’s New T20 competition, and up to eight live matches from the women’s T20 tournament including both Finals.

“It’s long been our ambition to bring live cricket back to BBC television. I’m thrilled to see that ambition realised,” said Director General, Tony Hall “Cricket is an integral part of the British summer and the BBC will be putting its full weight behind the nation’s favourite summer sport.”

Our aim will be to make the new T20 competition a huge success. Existing cricket fans – and the millions more who will discover a new love of cricket - have a huge amount to look forward to.”