Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has acquired the exclusive media rights for all men’s international matches played in Australia, beginning with the Magellan Ashes Series in November 2017. The term of the deal is six years and will cover multiple Indian tours and visits by Pakistan, South Africa and the Ashes of 2021-22.
Separately, SPN has also acquired the media rights for women’s international cricket played in Australia, beginning with the Commonwealth Bank Ashes later this month, along with the KFC BBL (Big Bash League) and the Rebel WBBL (Women’s Big Bash League).
SPN will have extensive access to content from Cricket Australia’s archives and some original programming from the newly-created CA Productions team.
The agreement for the Indian subcontinent covers a number of countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and SPN will broadcast Australian cricket via its sports network of 11 channels.
NP Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “SPN is committed to redefining the sports broadcasting landscape in the Indian subcontinent by curating a multi-sport culture. Our sports network comprising 11 channels will offer something for everyone. Cricket enjoys a high viewership in India and with the acquisition of the media rights of Cricket Australia, we are ensuring that the viewer has continuous cricketing action, all through the year.”
James Sutherland, CEO, Cricket Australia, said, “We are delighted to conclude this agreement with Sony. They understand the global value of Australian cricket. We’re also delighted with their support of our national women’s team, and the men’s and women’s Big Bash. Our summer of Big Bash will continue to expand and highlight the excitement and quality of our game. One of Australian cricket’s key strategies is to ensure it has a sustainable approach to investment, so that we can keep growing the game, and the six-year deal with SPN is part of that strategy.”
Rajesh Kaul, President, Sports and Distribution Business, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “Cricket Australia complements our existing portfolio of five international cricket boards, further positioning us as the premier destination for the sport. The content line-up across the six boards strengthens our position in cricket broadcasting. Cricket fans can look forward to a full season of cricketing sporting action on our network.”
Ben Amarflo, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Broadcasting, Digital Media and Commercial, said, “CA’s Media Rights & Broadcasting team is thrilled to have inked a deal with Sony as the new media rights partner for the subcontinent region, taking in key markets such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan over the next six years. We hope that cricket fans throughout this region will thoroughly enjoy seeing Australian cricket, particularly what has become probably the fiercest rivalry in world cricket – Australia v India. We will have numerous tours by India over the next few years, along with Australia playing against other subcontinental cricket teams.”
“Sony is a world-class sports broadcaster and has done an exceptional job growing cricket in India with its ground-breaking broadcasting of the IPL and its widespread coverage of international cricket. To have our international and domestic cricket carried on such a premium sports platform as SPN is hugely important to the continued growth and promotion of Australian and bi-lateral cricket in the region. We are looking forward to being a part of Sony’s elite cricket stable and it all kicks off next month with the Ashes.”