Big three broadcast deals compared

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:

BCCI: $700m per year i.e. $3.49bn over five seasons (2018-22) (IPL $2.55bn?+?$944m for other Indian cricket)

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.


T20I status for all. Just a few tweaks needed.

Domestic T20 leagues, Olympic inclusion & playing conditions in the spotlight.

From 1 January 2019 all (men’s) international cricket teams – all 104 of them – will have full Twenty20 International (T20I) status. This will mean a first-ever level playing field across all countries in a single format, as well as the creation of cricket’s first truly global rankings system. This will be introduced for men’s and women’s teams.

It was also announced that the 2021 Champions Trophy will now become a World Twenty20, and there also appears to be a renewed vigour around cricket’s inclusion at the Olympics (2028 in LA being the earliest opportunity).

Overall this is great news for the sport’s development. Previously, to play a T20I (or an ODI) both teams had to have the requisite status, and the match had to be played under strict(er) controls that include umpire appointments and prior ground approval, amongst others.

I will be interested to read how the ICC plan on reviewing the playing conditions around T20Is to make it as easy as possible for nations to play these matches. It would not be realistic to expect all countries, in order to play T20Is, to only conduct matches at the current (limited) number of approved grounds available. There is also the questions around the additional costs for ICC appointed match officials as well, and a great number of ICC members do not have immediate access to turf wickets. The ICC cricket department, led by Australian former-first class cricketer Geoff Allardice, had been discussing the feasibility of T20Is being able to be played on synthetics pitches/grounds previously. Considering the just-finished?ICC World T20 Africa A Qualifier was played on a synthetic wicket – and for the sake of the growth of the sport, I hope this line of thought has prevailed.

One of the sticking points with the IOC with Olympic inclusion was that they did not want a format of the sport which would not provide a “pinnacle” in an Olympic event. The introduction of a global rankings system and another global tournament (in place of one in another format) goes a long way to show the IOC that the ICC is serious about T20 cricket – which by all accounts, is the only format being considered for Olympic inclusion.

Besides the current restrictive conditions around grounds and officials, I also hope the ICC consider changing their policy when it comes to the status of domestic T20 tournaments. Despite the calibre of players on show – and that it was played at an approved ODI/T20I venue – the Hong Kong T20 Blitz was classed as “Other T20s” for stats purposes, so no performance will be kept alongside players? performances in other franchise / domestic leagues hosted by Full Members.

There is a simple solution to this: abolish the current regulation that only Full Member nations can have full “T20” domestic tournaments. This can then be replaced – rather than saying that “any” T20 match anywhere will go towards stats (this would could utter havoc) – but say that every tournament that goes through the ICC approval process (this is a prerequisite step for any tournament wanting to invite overseas players) will be awarded full “T20” status meaning that the stats of HK’s T20 Blitz, and Nepal’s EPL & DPL, for example, would all have the same status as BBL, BPL & IPL matches.

Now, the question of club (i.e. domestic T20 leagues) v country (T20Is) is a complex one, and the ICC is wary of giving these leagues ammunition to sideline international cricket. However, I think that my suggested approval of T20 matches can be managed – alongside amending the approval process for these events, which I will write on another time – and can be another step forward in embracing emerging nations’ plans to hold these domestic events in an event to drive commercial revenue and local interest in cricket. However, it needs to been managed carefully so as not to be luring players away from playing for their countries, and maybe more importantly, not providing breeding grounds for nefarious involvement with respect to spot/match fixing.

Overall though, and echoing ICC CEO David Richardson’s? (pictured above – photo courtesy ICC) comments in the release, this is a great step forward for the sport; the ICC-at-large (especially the Development team, led by Will Glenwright) should be commended.

“Status” has always been a keenly discussed topic and seen by many as an archaic mechanism that is getting in the way of cricket becoming truly “global”. Ours is the only sport I am aware of that puts conditions on it being played, where countries competing – in sometimes the identical conditions as others are not classed the same. This was no more evident at the recent (50 over) Cricket World Cup Qualifiers where two of the ten teams (Nepal & Netherlands) did not have One Day International status, and therefore, every game they played – even against full members – was List A. All other matches in the tournament were ODIs.

Welcome to

After years of writing blogs on (emerging/Associate) cricket for other sites as well as participating in podcasts, panels, interviews, and broadcasts, I thought it high time to have a central place where I could collect my thoughts and pieces.

Over time, I will try and collate historic content here for easy reference.

Whether it is from previous work or new pieces here, the idea will be to build up a useful reference point (as well as a big dose of insight / opinion poured in too!).

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences, as well as telling some stories that may otherwise go unknown. Associate cricket structures, and the intricacies of the funding model from the International Cricket Council remain a commonly misunderstood topic – and that’s something which I certainly look forward to filling in the blanks on!

If you have any particular topics or questions you would like covered feel free to drop me a line here or via any of the various social networks I’m on. Likewise if you have any feedback or suggestions for

I hope this site becomes a useful resource for those interested in the continued growth of cricket, both beyond the major nations, and also into sectors of the community who haven’t had the same levels of exposure to the game as others.

Yours in cricket, Tim.