Extra ODI series against England 'built into next Australian rights tender'
Australia are set to host the England cricket team in two consecutive years in the next broadcasting cycle in order to make the rights more attractive to bidders.
England are already due to visit Australia in 2021-22 for a tour including an ‘Ashes’ test series and one-day international, along with Twenty20 international matches.
However, according to a Cricket Australia tender document seen by the UK’s Times newspaper, there are also plans for a five-match one-day series down under in the 2022-23 season.
This would likely take place in January and provide some high-profile matches for broadcasters and serve as preparation for the teams ahead of the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.
Nine Network, the Australian commercial broadcaster, is the long-time home of Australia’s international matches in the country and presently holds the rights in a five-year deal worth A$490 million ($365 million) that expires after England’s ‘Ashes’ tour of 2017-18.
The Australian rights to international matches and the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League, currently held by Ten Network in a five-year, A$100 million contract, will be up for grabs in the forthcoming tender.
In the UK, pay-television operator BT Sport has the rights to Australian cricket in a five-year deal worth upwards of £80 million ($104 million) that came into effect towards the end of last year and includes this winter’s Ashes series.
In terms of cricket, BT Sport and its rival Sky will be preoccupied with the tender for rights for international and domestic matches in England from 2020 to 2024, which was the launched by the England and Wales Cricket Board last week.
Sky presently holds exclusive live rights to English cricket in a deal worth approximately £75 million per year that runs until 2019.
However, it was reported this week that some international Twenty20 matches, as well as 10 games from a new domestic Twenty20 competition, will be reserved for free-to-air television in the next cycle.