The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Sky Sports have announced a new extension to their strategic partnership until 2028.
The four-year extension, which represents an increase in investment on the previous agreement, runs from the start of 2025 until the end of 2028.
The new agreement extends the partnership between the ECB and Sky Sports to more than 30 years and covers home international and domestic cricket. 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 FTA 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.
Announcing the extension, Clare Connor, ECB interim CEO, 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.
“We have worked closely with the wider game and our First-Class Counties to agree this new deal with Sky, which will see not only more live women’s and men’s cricket on Sky, but also more on free to air TV as well. I would like to place on record our thanks to the First Class County Chairs, to all of the Sky teams involved and to ECB colleagues including Tony Singh and Tom Harrison, who have played the central role in delivering this outstanding result for cricket.
“Our shared values and vision with Sky will make cricket accessible to even more people over the coming years and will use the power of sport to inspire the next generation, while safeguarding the wonderful traditions which are such a key part of our game”.
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP and CEO 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”.