Live Cricket Pays to BBC TV for the First Time in 21 Years

Published on: Dec 02, 2021

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are crazy about cricket. And most of them are indifferent to other sports. Thanks to a huge army of sports fans, cricket confidently ranks second in the world in popularity after football. In terms of the number of loyal fans, it confidently overtakes all other team games — from baseball to hockey.

Cricket is especially loved in countries that were part of the British Empire, with a total population of about 2 billion people. Taking into account the great popularity of cricket, it is no wonder that the sport pays money to BBC television for the first time in 21 years.

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Details of the Deal

This is a unique moment in the history of cricket since the sport's popularity continues to grow. Here are some other details of the deal that are worth mentioning:

  • The deal is valid from 2020 to 2024;
  • Under a new agreement between the BBC and the England & Wales Cricket Council, the national TV channel will broadcast two international matches live;
  • Sky Sports announced that they would remain the home of cricket in the UK. The company will have the rights to broadcast live all England international and domestic matches until 2024;
  • The BBC deal includes one T20 international women's tournament in England, 10 men's matches of the ECB's new T20 domestic tournament, and up to eight live T20 women's matches;
  • The Test Match Special will also continue to broadcast live;
  • The BBC will provide TV coverage of all England men's home matches, which means there will be over 100 hours of cricket on BBC TV between 2020-2024

The show's highlights are currently being broadcast on Channel 5. BBC reports that it is unclear whether a new highlight program will be prepared by BBC Sport or whether independent producers might offer a contract to create the show

BBS CEO Statement

BBC CEO Tony Hall said: “The BBC is very happy, and the audience will be too. We have long sought to bring back cricket live on BBC television. I am very glad that this ambition has come true. Cricket is an integral part of the UK summer, and the BBC will fully support the country's popular summer sport. Our goal will be to make the new T20 competition a huge success. Existing cricket fans — and millions of others who will discover a new love of cricket — have a lot to look forward to.”

The Hundred

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is preparing to launch The Hundred, a new cricket competition with an all-new 100 Ball format that has caused a storm since its inception. This is geared towards young fans, newbies, casual audiences, and pretty much anyone who couldn't tell the difference between a stump and a Google. Now all broadcasts can be watched live on BBC.

The tournament will be sanctified by Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, who was a cricket superhero in the past and is now a famous TV presenter. According to Flintoff, the current conditions are just ideal for conquering doubters and achieving success.

But it's also worth noting that not everyone is so optimistic about the new format. For example, station wagon James Neesham was stunned. He doesn’t understand why the England & Wales Cricket Board was trying something different when the current format was already so successful.

Flintoff also believes that one grand performance may be enough to get The Hundred on the path of fun. He said: “I remember when the IPL started many years ago. I played against Surrey for four days when I played for Lancashire and the first IPL game was televised in the dressing room. Everyone was a little skeptical and thought that that was not going to happen.

Brandon McCallum received more than 140 goals. This marked the beginning of the tournament for me. Everyone was talking about it. No one has seen this before. If I were the IPL, I would send thank-you cards to Brendan McCallum every day of his life because I think he organized this tournament.”

It is just obvious that the new era of cricket has started. The army of fans keeps growing; the sports culture is being developed, and more money is earned. So we do predict a bright future for the sport.