Nine wins Australian free-to-air Rights for 2027 and 2031 Ashes series
Nine Entertainment has successfully secured the Australian free-to-air broadcasting rights for the highly anticipated 2027 and 2031 editions of the Ashes Test cricket series.
It has been reported that Nine Entertainment – the media company behind the Stan Sport streaming service – will pay the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) AU$40 million for the rights to broadcast the next two England-hosted editions of the iconic series.
While this sum falls slightly short of the ECB’s initial asking price of AU$50 million, it appears that Nine Entertainment’s offer may have been the most viable option, especially in light of reports suggesting that fellow FTA network Seven withdrew from the bidding process. However, Seven will retain the rights to broadcast the home Ashes – as well as all other home series – to Australian audiences until 2031, in conjunction with the pay-TV service Foxtel.
Nine Entertainment’s Australian broadcast of the Ashes will be simulcast with Foxtel, which holds the rights to broadcast both home (in partnership with Seven) and away Ashes Tests in Australia until 2031.
Domestic and international rights to Ashes series are sold separately by Cricket Australia and the ECB, depending on which country is hosting. The next Ashes series will unfold during the 2025-26 Australian summer.
The newly-signed arrangement represents one of the most forward-thinking agreements ever signed for the Ashes series in either Australia or England, alongside the Foxtel partnership. Australian regulations mandate that events of cultural significance, like the Ashes, must first be offered to FTA broadcasters before subscription services such as Foxtel. This requirement explains why free-to-air services have secured the rights.
The current domestic coverage agreement for home internationals with the pay-TV giant Sky is set to expire in 2028. An extension of this agreement was last signed in July 2022.
Image credit: Yorkspotter