BBC and ICC announce online cricket deal

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The BBC has sealed a new four-year digital rights deal that will see the BBC Sport website cover all major ICC cricket events.

The deal gives the BBC rights to show video clips of up to six minutes per hour of play, end of day round-ups, digital preview programming features and archive material in the UK.

Starting with immediate effect, the agreement for extensive online video coverage will run through to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, which will be hosted by England.

Tournaments included in the deal are the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016 (Jan 27-Feb 14), ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 (March 8-April 3), ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (June 1-19) and the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 (August 4-27).

In 2018, the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup (January 12-February 4), ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (March 1-April 4) and the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 will all feature under the deal, culminating in 2019 with the ICC Cricket World Cup in England (May 30-July 15).

The announcement sees the BBC build its overall cricket offer, including Test Match Special commentary and text coverage online, though it currently has no TV rights.

Video clips will be used to enhance the coverage of ICC events on all digital platforms, through mobile alerts and an enhanced live page.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, says: “We’re very pleased to announce this new agreement with the ICC, which is all about free-to-air accessibility and bringing the best of cricket to as wide an audience as possible across the UK.

“There is a strong appetite among audiences for the sport and we’re looking forward to helping deliver them the best of the action from these major events through to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

“The online rights will complement our live radio commentary portfolio and popular online offering, giving UK audiences video of the best of the action wherever they are.”

Giles Clarke, chairman of ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee, said: “The ICC is delighted to partner with BBC Sport in the United Kingdom, which is widely respected and followed due to its ability and resources to produce high-quality cricket content.

“As the United Kingdom will be host to three important ICC Events between 2017 and 2019, this deal confirms the ICC’s enthusiasm and commitment to take its events to all its fans irrespective of where they are in the United Kingdom and how they are following these tournaments.

“I have no doubts that this partnership will take cricket coverage to a completely new level and will benefit both the ICC as well as the BBC, with cricket being the ultimate winner.”

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