The ICC World T20 in India commences this Tuesday and until today it had appeared that television coverage of the tournament would not be available to Australian viewers, with no Australian broadcaster electing to purchase the rights from global rights holder Star Sports (a unit of 21st Century Fox) (see Fairfax Media’s story here).
However a list minute deal has now been reached for the Australian market, with Australia’s previous ICC tournament broadcasters, Nine and Fox Sports purchasing the rights from Star Sports. It means the Anti-siphoning listed event will be seen by Australians, as the Australian men’s team seeks to win the T20 World Cup for the first time and the women’s team look to defend their title as reigning champions.
Under the terms of the deal, Fox Sports will show all 35 matches live, while Channel Nine will broadcast every Australian clash along with the finals. Fox Sports’ coverage will also include 10 women’s matches of the women’s tournament, which is being played alongside the men’s tournament.
Fox Sports will be sending the faces of its cricket coverage, Allan Border and Brendon Julian, to join the world feed commentary team.
The tournament will also see a reshaped television product being delivered to global broadcasters as the ICC has brought its television production in-house for the first time. The cricket world’s governing body late last year struck a three-year deal with UK production house Sunset + Vine to be its Live Production Partner and Broadcast Solutions as OB Equipment Provider for all televised ICC Events (the Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year was the first event produced by Sunset + Vine for the ICC, but the ICC World T20 will be the first major tournament they will produce). Sunset + Vine has cricket experience as it previously worked on Channel 4’s coverage in the UK. They also now how to manage major events as they were host broadcaster for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (along with Global Television (now known as NEP Australia).
Each match of the World T20 tournament will be distributed and broadcast by the ICC’s Global Broadcast Partner, Star Sports, and its licencees, such as BSKYB (UK), OSN (Middle East & North Africa), SuperSport (South Africa & sub-Saharan Africa), SKY TV (NZ), which now include Fox Sports and Nine (Australia).
The first match of the T20 World Cup will see Zimbabwe take on Hong Kong in the Group stage, as the smaller cricketing nations fight out for a place in the Super 10 stage. The Super 10 stage begins on 15 March, with hosts India facing 2015 ODI World Cup runners-up New Zealand.