The six billion dollar baby
After a much-reported negotiation concluded, Cricket Australia recently announced their new media rights deal for 2018-23. That meant the last of the “big three” had finalised their new domestic broadcast contracts, and they make very interesting reading. All values are USD unless noted otherwise and are as per FX rates from 1st May.
The total? Just a tick under six billion dollars.
This is how they stack up per year/season as appropriate:
ECB: $306m per year i.e. GPB1.1bn ($1.53bn) over five seasons (2020-25)
CA: $178m per year i.e. AUD1.18bn ($890m) over six years (but five seasons) (2018-23)
These deals are for the cricket played in their countries only. Their national teams’ fixtures and domestic T20 (or 100 ball) tournaments will make up the bulk of the value for the broadcasters.
Besides India’s recent deals, these amounts do not include the broadcast rights outside of each full member’s own country (e.g. the BBL being broadcast to the UK).
It will take a whole other piece to set out total broadcast revenue for the likes of a BCCI, CA or ECB taking all broadcast factors into account – including the revenue sharing of bilateral tours – so I will leave that for another day and just concentrate on each of the major “home” rights contracts.
In saying that though, the sharing of revenue for bilateral tours is major contributor to a country’s top line. Without getting into the nitty gritty of sharing proportions etc. what this means in reality, is when the likes of an India tour your country you stand to receive a large chunk of money as a share of the value of that series. As we have seen in the recent past, when India pulls out of a potential tour, there is normally a lot of noise that follows the decision – and this is all because of the amount of money that country would have stood to gain from India touring.
Here’s a little more detail on each country’s broadcast arrangements.
This will be the first time any home Australian cricket will be exclusively behind a paywall with men’s ODI/T20I matches on Fox Sports only. Foxtel subscribers will also be the only ones to watch the additional matches (exact schedule still TBC) added to the BBL over and above last year’s fixtures. All other matches – including more women’s cricket than ever before, will be shown on both Fox and free-to-air (FTA) network Channel Seven. After 40 years – the first time since before World Series Cricket was introduced by Kerry Packer – Channel Nine will not show any cricket played in Australia, beyond the men’s and women’s World Twenty20s in 2020. They will also show the Ashes and the World Cup – both being played in England & Wales during the 2019 northern hemisphere summer.
Fox Sports have promised a dedicated cricket channel – an Australian first – which promises a raft of new shows and concepts, and revised offerings to their digital customers.
It has not yet been confirmed who will be producing the content and whether Seven will simulcast/licence Fox footage and/or add their own production offering. Considering the recent news that both networks (plus Nine) are pursuing key commentary figures, it tells us (at least) we will get some variety across the channels for those with access to subscription television.
England & Wales
After moving 100% of all cricket onto pay TV’s Sky Sports after the historic 2015 Ashes win, the ECB’s new deal pulls some cricket back onto FTA TV with 21 matches to be shown on BBC, including men’s & women’s internationals and the new T20/100 competition. Sky Sports fought off a very keen bid from BT Sport. BT also holds the UK rights for all of Australia’s home matches from 2016-21 in a deal reported to be worth almost $110m (GBP80m).
In the biggest single cricket rights deal ever, Star Sports won the 2018-22 rights for the IPL for a whopping $2.55bn. With 60 matches a season, it puts it up there with one of the most valuable sporting leagues in the world – however, when compared to how many matches are played in the other properties on the list, it doesn’t really compare (yet).
The BCCI then e-auctioned all its other domestic content, netting almost another billion dollars, from Star again. This actually eclipsed the IPL deal on a per match basis ($9.26m v $8.47m) however once you consider the many more hours (and match days) of content the Indian match deal includes across ODI and Test match cricket, the IPL still wins out in terms of value by airtime.