Sky Sports will dedicate an entire channel to its exclusively live coverage of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, from the first ball to the final of the biggest one-day competition in international cricket.
For six weeks, Sky Sports 2 will become Sky Sports World Cup, giving fans over 1,000 hours of round the clock coverage, including all 49 matches live, as well as extensive build-up, analysis and highlights.
The channel re-branding is the fourth undertaken by Sky Sports for a single sporting event over the last 18 months, following similar moves for its live coverage of the 2013 Ashes series, 2014 Ryder Cup and 2015 PDC World Darts Championship.
Sky Sports will be the only place to watch every ball of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, with its comprehensive coverage starting on the evening of Friday, February 13.
Two hours of live build up will set the scene for the opening fixture as the current ICC Twenty20 World Cup holders, Sri Lanka, take on New Zealand, before England return to the MCG against Australia.
The Sky Sports World Cup channel will launch at 6.00am on February 13 with a series of classic World Cup matches from years gone by, before Adam Gilchrist shares his trade secrets to success in a masterclass special as part of a comprehensive schedule of support programming.
Sky’s live coverage for the majority of the tournament will be based from its state-of-the-art studios in London, where David Gower, Ian Ward, Charles Colvile and Matt Floyd will share presenting duties throughout the six-week event.
They will be joined by plenty of guests throughout the tournament, including Sky Sports stalwart Bob Willis, former England captain Andrew Strauss and top wicket keeper Matt Prior.
Sky Sports will be using the broadcast feed provided by the ICC’s host broadcaster ESPN Star Sports for its live match coverage, with Sky regulars Sir Ian Botham, Mike Atherton, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, Nasser Hussain and Nick Knight all part of the commentary and analysis roster.
Two dedicated Sky Sports reporters will be in Australia and New Zealand, including chief cricket correspondent Tim Abraham, while The Verdict show will be back live for every England match to debate the performance.
Commenting on the channel’s Cricket World Cup plans, Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “The Cricket World Cup is the one of the world’s biggest sporting events, offering six weeks of rivalry between 14 nations.
“By dedicating a whole channel to the tournament, fans know that there’s only once place to watch all of the action live, catch up with highlights and enjoy the reaction and views of our experts.
“This is the biggest ever year of cricket on Sky Sports and the channel will help to make sure it’s our best yet.”
Bob Willis, former England captain and Sky Sports analyst added: “I was lucky enough to play in two World Cups and as player you want to compete against the top teams on the biggest stage.
“It’s only a month to go now until Sky Sports World Cup launches and as a studio analyst and a fan, I can’t wait to watch as all of the excitement and the stories unfold.”
Fans who subscribe to Sky Sports will be able to watch the action live on mobile, laptop and selected tablet devices via Sky Go wherever they are and follow live over-by-over commentary and scorecards of every match.
They can keep up to date with the latest news, reports, reaction and views of the Sky Sports cricket team across all digital platforms, including a dedicated World Cup section on skysports.com.
Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to access extended daily highlights from the tournament, while viewers are also encouraged to share their views, fans can use @SkyCricket with the official World Cup hashtag #cwc15.
No announcement has been made so far regarding free-to-air coverage of the 2015 Cricket World Cup in the UK. The BBC has televised late-night highlights of the past two tournaments.