Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has acquired the exclusive media rights for all men’s international matches played in Australia, beginning with the Ashes Series in November 2017 played between England and Australia, the company said on Monday.
After losing the rights to its popular sports property—the Indian Premier League (IPL)—to Star India Pvt. Ltd, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) had earlier said it will turn its focus to international cricket and other sports.
“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,” said N.P. Singh, CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India.
Cricket Australia, formerly known as the Australian Cricket Board, is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia.
The terms of the deal are six years and will cover multiple Indian tours and visits by Pakistan, South Africa and the Ashes Cup in 2021.
“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 vs India. We will have numerous tours by India over the next few years, along with Australia playing against other sub continental cricket teams,” said Ben Amarflo, Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of broadcasting, digital media and commercial.
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 rights to T20 tournaments —Big Bash League and the Women’s Big Bash League.
“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,” said Rajesh Kaul, president, sports and distribution business, Sony Pictures Networks India.
The network has five international cricket boards—South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe. Upcoming cricket series on SPN includes India’s tour of South Africa, which starts in January.- Live Mint