Sky Sports extends English cricket coverage | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Running their business relationship over 30 years, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Sky Sports have announced a new extension to their strategic partnership through to the end of 2028, with more live cricket to be shown than ever before.
Main Image SS cricket 15July2022
The current five-year deal, which started in 2020, has seen huge growth in cricket viewing on Sky Sports, with the recent Men’s Test series against New Zealand and the 2020 series against the West Indies being the two most watched series on record, outside of the 2019 Ashes. It also saw live cricket back on free-to-air TV and enabled the ECB and counties to provide fans with digital content and match streaming.

Overall, 134 million more hours of ECB cricket were watched in 2021 compared to 2017, while a new high of 14 million people played, attended or followed cricket in 2021 - an increase of three million since 2019.
The four-year extension, which represents an increase in investment on the previous agreement, runs from the start of 2025 and will see more live cricket on Sky Sports, more on free-to-air TV and further increased investment to help grow the game and get more people playing. It guarantees 90 extra hours of live cricket on TV each year, more women’s cricket than ever before and coverage of The Hundred tournament extended to 2028.

Importantly for the development of the sport, it also sees continued investment in grassroots cricket including through the Dynamos Cricket programme. Sky’s investment will also fund initiatives for children of all backgrounds to pick up a bat and ball, growing women and girls’ cricket and reducing barriers to participation, as well as supporting a thriving domestic game and successful England teams.

As part of the partnership extension, for the first time England Women’s cricket will have a defined commitment, including two free-to-air IT20s. This represents a step forward in the commercialisation of women’s cricket and laying the foundation for future growth of the game.

The partnership will provide a greater profile for Vitality Blast than ever before, with at least 50% more group games being broadcast each season and one game per round being live-streamed for free on Sky Sports Cricket YouTube. There will also be rights for counties to stream every group game on their own platforms and a brand-new weekly highlights show to be broadcast on terrestrial television.

“Sky has been a fantastic partner for cricket for over 30 years. Its broadcast coverage is rightly lauded as the best in the world, but more significantly than that we have a shared commitment to growing the sport and investing in more opportunities not only for people to watch and follow cricket in all its forms, but also to pick up a bat and ball,” said ECB interim chief executive officer Clare Connor announcing the extension.

“Thanks to Sky and the support of other partners, we saw a record 14 million people playing, attending or following cricket in 2021. This year alone, 10,000 children will get the chance to have a free taste of cricket through Sky Dynamos Intros, while many, many more will benefit from facilities and opportunities to play which are only possible because of Sky’s investment. It shows this media rights model is working, and we are very grateful for Sky’s ongoing support.

Stephen van Rooyen, EVP and CEO Sky Sports UK and Europe added: “This is an exciting time for English cricket and we’re thrilled to be furthering our long and successful partnership with the ECB. Together we will continue to help grow the game while boosting participation in the sport by children from all backgrounds through initiatives like our Dynamos Cricket Intros. On screen, we will continue to push boundaries in our BAFTA-winning coverage, bringing Sky Sports viewers even more live action from 2025 - including more women’s cricket than ever before - with men’s and women’s England internationals and domestic cricket. Sky’s investment over the last 30 years has contributed to a great deal of success on the pitch, and we hope to be at the forefront of much more to come.”