BBC Sport secures exclusive audio rights deal with Cricket Australia
BBC Sport has unveiled its audio partnership with Cricket Australia, guaranteeing live cricket coverage across its esteemed platforms, including BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, 5 Live and BBC Sounds. This agreement encompasses comprehensive commentary for both the men’s and women’s Ashes, solidifying the long-term relationship between the two entities.
The centrepiece of this collaboration is the iconic Test Match Special (TMS), which will offer live ball-by-ball commentary for the Australia versus England matches through 2026-27. This exciting package includes the forthcoming women’s and men’s Ashes series scheduled for late-2024 and 2025-26, respectively, as well as an England men’s ODI/T20 tour of Australia slated for late-2026.
In addition to Ashes coverage, BBC Sport will deliver live audio commentary for all other men’s and women’s international cricket events taking place in Australia. The agreement also extends to provide unparalleled coverage of the Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League competitions, ensuring that cricket enthusiasts have access to an extensive array of content.
“We are delighted that Test Match Special will remain as the home of ball-by-ball commentary for the next Men’s and Women’s Ashes,” Heidi Dawson, Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra, expressed.
“Both series last summer were captivating, and they brought in record numbers to listeners to 5 Sports Extra and BBC Sounds. The return series in Australia will be hugely anticipated and Cricket fans will be able to follow every moment on Sports Extra, Sounds, 5 Live and the BBC Sport website and app.”
Abhi Arunachalam, CA Head of Media Rights, also voiced his enthusiasm for this extended partnership.
“We’re extremely pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with the BBC and that cricket in Australia will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, 5 Live and BBC Sounds,” Arunachalam said.
“The historic rivalry between Australia and England has gone to another level in recent years and we’re particularly thrilled that the next men’s and women’s Ashes series in Australia will be broadcast by the BBC’s iconic Test Match Special team.
“This partnership will also ensure international cricket and the Big Bash Leagues will enjoy widespread exposure in the UK and cricket fans in that part of the world will get the best possible coverage.”
This audio rights deal enhances the BBC’s extensive portfolio, which includes live coverage of various sports, ranging from football, athletics, golf majors, Formula 1 and Six Nations rugby to grand slam tennis tournaments. Cricket aficionados and sports enthusiasts can now anticipate top-notch cricket commentary on BBC’s renowned platforms for the foreseeable future.