BT Sport set to win rights to broadcast this winter's Ashes series
BT Sport set to win rights to broadcast this winter’s Ashes after seeing off competition from Sky Sports, with satellite broadcaster close to extending previous £80m four-year deal with Cricket Australia
- BT Sport are set to win the live rights for this winter’s Ashes series in Australia
- The satellite broadcaster have beaten main rivals Sky Sports to the rights
- BT paid £80million to land all Cricket Australia’s UK rights for 2016 to 2021
- Sportsmail understands that BT are close to extending that four-year deal
BT Sport are set to win the live rights for this winter’s Ashes series having seen off competition from main rivals Sky Sports.
The satellite broadcaster paid £80million to land all Cricket Australia’s UK rights for 2016 to 2021 — which included Australia’s home internationals and the Twenty20 Big Bash League — and are understood to be close to extending the deal.
While the contract has yet to be signed, ECB sources have been told to expect the Ashes to be televised by BT, assuming the tour goes ahead.
BT Sport are set to beat Sky Sports to live rights for this winter’s Ashes series in Australia
As revealed by Sportsmail last month, several England players have expressed reservations about touring because of the Australian government’s refusal to permit their families to visit.
The ECB are sympathetic to the players’ position and have engaged the help of the UK Government in trying to win exemptions to Australia’s tough policy.
A number of players have told the ECB they regard spending a fortnight with their families around the Melbourne and Sydney Test matches over Christmas and New Year as their minimum requirement, without which they would be unwilling to tour.
While the contract is yet to be signed, ECB sources expect BT to televise the Ashes
BT Sport’s successful Ashes bid is a continuation of their recent move into televising overseas cricket, after they bought the rights to all of New Zealand’s and West Indies’ home internationals earlier this week.
England’s women’s tour of New Zealand was broadcast live in February and March, while the men’s Test series in the West Indies next year will also be on BT.
Sky Sports are sanguine about failing to regain the Ashes tour, given modest viewing figures due to the time difference. The network remains the only place to watch home Tests and one-day matches, while they share coverage of the new Hundred competition with the BBC.
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