The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has extended its media rights deal with Sky Sports through to 2028 to produce more of the sport live on the platform.
Since 2017, there has been a 73% increase in total viewing hours of cricket on Sky, with the partnership now surpassing 30 years.
The four-year extension now includes: 90 extra hours of live cricket guaranteed on TV each year, more women’s cricket, further coverage of The Hundred, increased prominence for the Vitality Blast and continued investment in grassroots cricket including through the Dynamos Cricket programme.
Sky’s investment also funds initiatives for children of all backgrounds to play the sport, growing women and girls’ cricket and reducing barriers to participation, as well as supporting the domestic game and successful England teams.
Clare Connor, ECB Interim Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have a shared commitment to growing the sport and investing in more opportunities not only for people to watch and follow cricket in all its forms, but also to pick up a bat and ball.
“Thanks to Sky and the support of other partners, we saw a record 14 million people playing, attending or following cricket in 2021. This year alone, 10,000 children will get the chance to have a free taste of cricket through Sky Dynamos Intros.”
Since 2017, Sky’s investment has enabled just under £250 million to be invested into recreational cricket, with 300,000 children taking part in ECB national programmes, more than 4,500 grants awarded to clubs for new or improved facilities, and more than 400 new girls’ teams and 300 new women’s teams being set up since 2019.
Connor added: “Our shared values and vision with Sky will make cricket accessible to even more people over the coming years and will use the power of sport to inspire the next generation, while safeguarding the wonderful traditions which are such a key part of our game.”
Furthermore, for the first time, England Women’s cricket will have a ‘defined commitment’, including two free-to-air IT20s, representing a step forward in the commercialisation of women’s cricket and aiming to lay the foundation for future growth of the game.
Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s EVP and CEO UK and Europe, concluded: “On screen, we will continue to push boundaries in our BAFTA-winning coverage, bringing Sky Sports viewers even more live action from 2025 – including more women’s cricket than ever before – with men’s and women’s England internationals and domestic cricket.
“Sky’s investment over the last 30 years has contributed to a great deal of success on the pitch, and we hope to be at the forefront of much more to come.”