Sky Sports and ECB extend their partnership until 2028 in a new four-year deal | cricket news


Sky Sports will remain the home of English cricket until 2028, after announcing a partnership extension with the ECB.

sky sports and the ECB have extended their partnership until the end of 2028, with more live cricket than ever before.

sky sports and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) can confirm the further extension of their strategic partnership, a partnership now in excess of 30 years, which will see more live cricket in sky sportsmore on broadcast TV and more investment to help grow the game and get more people playing it.

The four-year extension runs from early 2025 to late 2028 and includes:

  • Guaranteed extra 90 hours of live cricket on TV every year.
  • More women’s cricket than ever.
  • Coverage of The Hundred was extended to 2028.
  • Increased prominence for Vitality Blast, including more live games.
  • Continued investment in grassroots cricket, including through the Dynamos Cricket programme.
  • Sky’s investment also funds initiatives to get children of all backgrounds to pick up a bat and ball, encourage women’s and girls’ cricket and lower barriers to participation, as well as support a thriving national game and successful England teams.

The new agreement expands the partnership between the ECB and sky sports over 30 years and covers local and international cricket.

Highlights from day five of the fifth Test at Edgbaston as England cruised to a stunning seven-wicket victory over India

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Highlights from day five of the fifth Test at Edgbaston as England cruised to a stunning seven-wicket victory over India

Highlights from day five of the fifth Test at Edgbaston as England cruised to a stunning seven-wicket victory over India

The current five-year deal, which started in 2020, has seen huge growth in cricket viewing in sky sportswith 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 Ashes 2019.

Overall, 134 million more hours of live cricket were watched in 2021 compared to 2017, while a new high of 14 million people played, watched or followed cricket in 2021, an increase of three million from 2019.

England's recent Test series victory over New Zealand on Sky Sports is one of the two most watched series on record

England’s recent Test series victory over New Zealand on Sky Sports is one of the two most watched series on record

As a key strategic partner to English cricket, sky sports has shown a deep commitment to the ECB’s Inspiring Generations vision of growing cricket and inspiring more children to pick up a bat and ball.

This has included the funding of 10,000 free seats for children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to try the game through the Sky Dynamos Intros scheme.

sky sports he also played a key role in the development of The Hundred, working hand-in-hand with the ECB to engage millions of people in cricket for the first time last year, many of whom broadcast data now shows have gone to try other forms of the game.

Since 2017, Sky’s investment has seen nearly £250m invested in recreational cricket, with 300,000 children taking part in the ECB’s national programmes, over 4,500 grants awarded to clubs for new or improved facilities, and over 400 new women’s teams and 300 new women’s teams in formation since 2019.

As part of the extension, England women's cricket will for the first time have a definite commitment

As part of the extension, England women’s cricket will for the first time have a definite commitment

Sky’s investment, whose coverage has led to 17 major broadcast industry awards including 3 BAFTAs, has also been vital in providing professional contracts for domestic women’s cricket for the first time, supporting grassroots initiatives to make cricket more inclusive, ensuring the financial survival of the game. through the pandemic and enabling successful England teams.

It has been instrumental in many improvements to game standards over the years, from introducing core contracts for male and female players to implementing the right support builds to build winning teams.

As part of the partnership extension, for the first time, England women’s cricket will have a defined commitment, including two free IT20s. This represents a step forward in the commercialization of women’s cricket and lays the groundwork for the future growth of the game.

Watch the best of Emma Lamb's incredible strike as she scored a maiden ODI century in just her third appearance

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Watch the best of Emma Lamb’s incredible strike as she scored a maiden ODI century in just her third appearance

Watch the best of Emma Lamb’s incredible strike as she scored a maiden ODI century in just her third appearance

The partnership will provide a bigger profile than ever for Vitality Blast, with at least 50 percent more group games broadcast each season and one game per round broadcast live for free on Sky Sports Cricket YouTube.

The deal also extends coverage of The Hundred through 2028, with a minimum of eight women’s matches confirmed to air on terrestrial television, up from a minimum of two in the previous deal.

Stephen van Rooyen, Executive Vice President and CEO of Sky UK and Europe said: “This is an exciting time for English cricket and we are delighted to further our long and successful partnership with the ECB. Together we will continue to help grow the game while driving the participation of children of all backgrounds in the sport through initiatives like our Dynamos Cricket Intros.

“On screen, we will continue to push the boundaries on our BAFTA-winning coverage, bringing sky sports viewers even more live action from 2025, including more women’s cricket than ever before, with England men’s and women’s internationals and domestic cricket. Sky’s investment over the last 30 years has contributed to great success in the field and we look forward to being at the forefront of much more to come.”

Clare Connor, Interim Executive Director of the ECBadded: “Sky has been a fantastic partner to cricket for over 30 years. Their broadcast coverage is rightly lauded as the best in the world, but more importantly 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 play, watch or follow cricket in 2021. This year alone, 10,000 children will have the opportunity to try cricket for free through Sky Dynamos Intros, while many, many more will benefit from the facilities and opportunities to play that are only made possible by Sky’s investment.It shows that this media rights model is working and we are very grateful for Sky’s continued support.

“We have worked closely with the game at large and our first-class counties to agree this new deal with Sky, which will see more women’s and men’s cricket live on Sky and more on broadcast TV as well. I would like to place on record our thanks to the first class county chairmen, all the Sky teams involved and ECB colleagues including Tony Singh and Tom Harrison who have played a central role in delivering this outstanding result for cricket.

“Our shared values ​​and vision with Sky will make cricket accessible to more people for years to come and we will use the power of the sport to inspire the next generation, while safeguarding the wonderful traditions that are a key part of our game.” .

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