Q&A on ECB's new broadcast rights deal

30 June 2017 01:09

The England and Wales Cricket Board has revealed details of its broadcast rights deal for the five-year period between 2020-2024, with Sky Sports and the BBC the successful bidders.

Here, Press Association asks what it all means:

How will television coverage be split?

Sky will retain its status as the main home for live English cricket, hosting all home Tests, ODIs and T20Is, women's matches and county cricket, including the entirety of the new eight-team T20 competition. BBC has won a 21-match bundle of free-to-air games, all of which are Twenty20 matches and which will also be shown on Sky. That breaks down as two men's internationals and one women's international, 10 matches from the new T20 competition and eight from the women's equivalent. In addition the national broadcaster will show primetime highlights of all men's internationals, while both organisations have access to digital clips.

What is significant about the BBC's role?

Cricket last appeared on free-to-air in 2005, when Channel 4 signed off following the unforgettable 2005 Ashes. Since then while players' pay packets have increased there have been concerns over the wider visibility of the sport and a decline in participation. The hope now is the regular appearance of the nation's top male and female players on the BBC - who last hosted live English cricket in 1999 - will help bring cricket back into the national conversation. Sky has also committed to driving engagement initiatives, informed by its Sky Ride cycling programme.

How much will it bring in?

The ECB will bring £1.1billion from the new arrangements, a huge increase on the previous deal which saw Sky pay £75million a year. The governing body had not set any official targets but the final figure is thought to marginally outstrip even the upper estimates. BT Sport's entry into the market was a big factor in pushing Sky to raise their offer, with a genuine tug-of-war between the broadcasters strengthening the ECB hand considerably.

Where will the money go?

With three years to wait before the changes come in, no firm decisions have taken place as to how the windfall will be spent. There will be no shortage of takers, with elite players, the county system and grassroots development all having persuasive cases to make for an increased slice of the pie. Plenty of discussions will take place in the coming months, and years, with a variety of stakeholders but the ECB has considerable leeway to invest at all levels.

And what about Test Match Special?

Having celebrated its 60th anniversary this summer, TMS can look forward to at least another seven years on the airwaves. TalkSPORT were rumoured to be interested in a deal but BBC Radio won live coverage of all domestic and international competitions.

Source: PA