The BBC has renewed its long-standing partnership with Cricket Australia for radio rights within the UK for the next five years.
The agreement covers exclusive UK radio rights for all international women’s and men’s cricket in Australia, including the respective men’s and women’s Ashes series this summer, and non-exclusive rights for the KFC Big Bash League (BBL) and Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) up to and including the 2021-22 season.
This agreement means cricket coverage from Australia will continue on Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra and BBC Radio 4 Longwave. BBC Radio’s coverage will also be available on Cricket Australia’s CA Live platform.
The BBC has a history of cricket coverage extending back over 90 years, and the new deal will ensure that TMS listeners will be able to hear coverage of all men’s and women’s Ashes series in Australia. In addition, the BBC will also broadcast coverage of the BBL and WBBL semi-finals and final.
Ben Gallop, head of BBC Radio Sport and Digital, said: “We’re thrilled BBC Radio will once again be the home of the Ashes in Australia for the next five years and that we’ll also be covering some of the other great cricket competitions taking place in Australia over this period.
“This deal is a brilliant way to mark the 60th anniversary of Test Match Special, which remains one of the most-treasured programmes on the BBC and is reaching new audiences through our digital channels. We’ll be bringing ball-by-ball coverage of both the women’s and men’s Ashes to our audiences, all done with the Test Match Special team’s trademark mix of expertise, insight and humour.”
Cricket Australia Executive General Manager, Broadcasting, Digital Media & Commercial, Ben Amarfio said the deal will be welcome news to many cricket fans in the UK ahead of the 2017-18 women’s and men’s Ashes series.
“We are delighted to be renewing our radio partnership with the BBC ahead of what we are expecting to be our biggest summer of cricket ever, including highly anticipated women’s and men’s Ashes series and the hugely entertaining WBBL and BBL.
“The BBC’s cricket coverage has long been an integral part of the sport in the UK, and this agreement will mean more people will be able to enjoy the scintillating cricket action this Australian summer and for the next five years.”