BT Sport has nabbed live broadcasting rights for the 2017/18 Ashes tournament, filching coverage from pay TV rivals Sky.
The next Australia vs England cricket tour will be broadcast live and exclusive on BT Sport alongside all Australian home cricket internationals from 2016 to 2021 as part of a bumper five year rights deal.
One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals played in Australia will be shown on BT Sport along with 35 KFC Big Bash League matches. Yes, you read that right – fast food chain KFC actually sponsors Australian cricket.
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.”
Sky Sports previously had broadcast rights to the Ashes, temporarily renaming Sky Sports 2 as ‘Sky Sports Ashes’ in 2013 and again this year, when it broadcast England’s utter decimation of the Australian side in the 2015 tournament.
Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of media, communications and marketing Ben Amarfio added: “BT Sport put forward a highly compelling bid for the rights to broadcast cricket from Australia to audiences throughout the United Kingdom.”
While Sky has been bowled out for a duck in the cricket stakes, it has snapped up coverage rights for La Liga Spanish football, which BT was rumoured to be digging deep for.
BT has recently launched BT Sport Europe, a new European football channel that showcases live and exclusive UEFA Champions League games that were previously broadcast on Sky Sports 5. BT Sport Europe is available on Sky, Virgin and BT TV packages.