Sky Sports has won the rights to broadcast England’s tour against Pakistan, when Alastair Cook’s Ashes winners travel to UAE in October.
Following England’s 3-2 victory over Australia, their next Test series is just two months away and will mark the start of the winter schedule, with the team also touring South Africa before the ICC T20 World Cup in India next March – all of which will be shown exclusively live on Sky Sports.
Having lost the rights to screen Australian cricket, including the next Ashes series, to BT Sport recently, Sky wasted no time in confirming the Pakistan rights agreement with host broadcaster Ten Sports, who are also both long-term partners through deals with Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
England will play three Tests with Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, as well as five ODIs and three T20 internationals. The first Test takes place in Abu Dhabi on October 13.
The deal ensures that over the next five years Sky Sports will show more than 50 England Tests and over 350 scheduled days of live England cricket, as well as every ICC competition until 2023.
Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “It was a fantastic Ashes summer on Sky Sports.
“More than 5m people watched our coverage and now we look forward to seeing the evolution of the England team as they head into the winter tours.
“From the New Zealand series through to the Ashes, we saw the development of a number of young players stepping up, and over the next five years with more than 50 England Tests, Sky Sports will be the place to watch them develop, beginning with this winter series against Pakistan and then South Africa.”
Earlier this year, Sky Sports extended its broadcast partnership with the England & Wales Cricket Board until 2019. The agreement offers cricket fans unprecedented coverage of England home fixtures, county matches, women’s and age grade cricket.
That followed the deal last October to secure rights for Sky Sports to show international cricket’s biggest events including the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Champions Trophy.
The agreement includes 14 ICC competitions and 250 days of live cricket between 2015 and 2023.
Additionally Sky Sports has deals in place with the IPL, Cricket South Africa, Cricket New Zealand, West Indies Cricket, India Cricket and Sri Lanka Cricket, bringing an unrivalled schedule of cricket throughout the year.
This year Sky Sports has secured a number of major rights deals, including Premier League for three more years, Open Championship golf from 2017, Matchroom boxing until 2021, La Liga and Major League Soccer.
The news comes after England regained the Ashes on home soil this summer, the series live on Sky Sports reached more than 5 million people.
It was also hugely popular across Sky Sports’ digital platforms, video content played more than 7.3m times across the website and social channels, while there were nearly 119m Twitter impressions to @SkyCricket.
Sky Sports has an unrivalled schedule in October with the British Masters, an event Sky Sports has put back on the European Tour calendar, decisive UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers, huge derbies in the Premier League including Everton v Liverpool, Sunderland v Newcastle and Manchester United v Manchester City, F1 action from Russia and USA and the Super League Grand Final.