ICC inks 1st direct deal with Sky Sports through to 2031

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The International Cricket Council has announced a new long-term deal with UK pay TV broadcaster Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland through to the end of 2031, and for the first time there will be a direct contractual relationship between the two organisations. 

The renewed partnership starts in 2024 and runs until 2031.

Beginning in 2024, the partnership will see Sky and its streaming platform NOW exploit the ICC broadcast and digital rights for all men’s and women’s events at the pinnacle of the sport, including the Cricket World Cups and T20 World Cups through to the end of 2031. During the course of the partnership, there will be both a major international men’s and women’s event every year as well as a World Test Championship final every two years.

The new deal reaffirms Sky as the long-term home of cricket in the UK and Ireland, broadcasting 28 international events between 2024 and 2031 across men’s, women’s and u19 cricket. This also includes three confirmed events on UK soil - the World Test Championship final 2025, the Women’s T20 World Cup 2026 and the Men’s T20 World Cup 2030.

Sky also recently signed a new agreement with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that runs until the end of 2028. 

ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “We are delighted to partner with Sky Sports until 2031 as the home of ICC cricket in the UK and Ireland. For the first time the partnership will be a direct relationship with Sky Sports which gives us some exciting opportunities for innovative collaborations.

“I am confident this partnership can support our long-term ambition to attract more players and more fans to the game.” 

Sky Sports MD, Jonathan Licht said: “With more people watching cricket at the highest-level after England men’s and women’s successes in 2017, 2019 and 2022, our award-winning coverage strives to give cricket fans the complete experience, with all the action both on and off the pitch. 

“This new direct partnership with the ICC means that Sky Sports viewers in the UK & Ireland will continue to enjoy every ball, run, wicket and catch from every international tournament for many years to come, and we’re all hugely excited to see what’s in store.” 

ICC events have record viewing in the UK in recent years. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 recorded the highest average audience for a cricket tournament in the UK to date and drew the highest ever UK TV peak for cricket of 8.8m viewers as Sky shared the rights to the Final with Channel 4. England’s victory over Pakistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final last year in Australia was the highest viewed T20 match in the UK ever following a similar partnership with the terrestrial broadcaster.