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ECB extends Sky Sports’ broadcast deal for four more years

Sky Sports has extended its deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (Tim Goode/PA)
Sky Sports has extended its deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (Tim Goode/PA)

Sky Sports’ broadcast deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board has been extended for a further four years until 2028.

The announcement takes the partnership between the broadcaster and the governing body beyond the 30-year mark.

The ECB said the new deal is an improvement in financial terms than the previous one, and will guarantee 90 extra hours of live cricket on television each year.

The deal extends coverage of The Hundred, which launched last summer, until 2028 and includes more live matches from the Vitality Blast, the ECB said.

The current five-year deal started in 2020.

The new arrangement has a defined commitment to the England Women’s side for the first time, including two Twenty20 internationals being screened on a free-to-air basis. The number of women’s Hundred matches made available via terrestrial TV has been increased from a minimum of two to eight.

Greater visibility for the Blast will come in the form of more group games being shown live and one match per round being streamed for free via YouTube.

ECB interim chief executive Clare Connor said her organisation and Sky had a shared commitment to grow the grassroots game
ECB interim chief executive Clare Connor said her organisation and Sky had a shared commitment to grow the grassroots game (Jacob King/PA)

Securing a new rights deal had been a priority for former ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, who had been eyeing an even longer-term arrangement, but he left his post earlier this year.

Announcing the deal, his interim replacement Clare Connor said: “Sky have been fantastic partners for cricket for over 30 years.

“Their 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.

“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.”