ICC and Star push the boundaries with wide distribution of Cricket World Cup
The 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which gets under way in England and Wales later this month, will be broadcast in more than 200 territories worldwide, it was announced today.
Rights have been distributed to 25 different media partners, which will show the six-and-a-half-week, 10-team tournament across television, radio, digital and other platforms.
Star India, the International Cricket Council’s global broadcast partner, worked with the governing body on the distribution of rights and will itself be televising all 48 matches live, with commentary in Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Kannada, Bangla and Marathi, on top of the standard English feed. A selected 12 games will be broadcast in Malayam via Asianet Plus.
There will also be full coverage on Hotstar, the broadcaster’s video-on-demand streaming service, which has a reach of 300 million in India and across the subcontinent.
The World Cup starts with hosts England taking on South Africa at The Oval in London on 30 May, and culminates with the final at Lord’s Cricket Ground, also in the capital, on 14 July.
In addition to Star, the prominent broadcasters include: Sky in the UK and Ireland (with highlights on Channel 4); SuperSport in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; OSN in the Middle East and North Africa; Fox Sports and Nine Network in Australia; Sky TV and Prime in New Zealand; Ten Sports and PTV in Pakistan; ESPN in the Caribbean and South America; Gazi TV, Maasranga and BTV in Bangladesh; SLRC in Sri Lanka; Fox Sports in China and South East Asia; Digicel in Asia-Pacific; Radio Television Afghanistan; and Yupp TV in continental Europe and central Asia.
RTA’s deal represents the first-ever live coverage of cricket in Afghanistan, which have qualified for the World Cup for only the second time, and this will reach approximately 60 per cent of households, equivalent to 20 million people.
On top of the standard TV rights deals, some 12 companies worldwide have picked up digital clip rights licenses to show up to six minutes per hour of near-live match action, plus other content, via smartphones, websites and other digital platforms.
There are also audio-only broadcasts in the major cricket markets and global news access partnerships with Perform, SNTV, Reuters and AFP.
The BBC, the UK’s public-service broadcaster, has digital clips and radio rights in its home market.
In a first for one-day international cricket, the ICC has entered a partnership for Cineplexes to show World Cup matches live in India, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and extended its partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment to offer matches on its OceanPrime channel on cruise liners around the world.
Aarti Dabas, the ICC head of media rights, broadcast and digital, said: “Through diversification of ICC’s media rights programme, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 promises to the most widely available cricket tournament in history, which will cater to fans of all demographics, on every continent.
“We are confident that by making the coverage available on different platforms, the engagement with the event and indeed cricket will increase and sustain cricket’s growth for years to come. In the short term, we are looking forward to connecting with the world, entertaining all existing and new cricket viewers and inspiring a new generation of fans.”
The ICC TV department is handling TV production with the support of production services partner Sunset+Vine and equipment services partner NEP Broadcast Solutions, and every match will be covered by a minimum of 32 cameras, including eight ultra-motion Hawk-Eye cameras, front and reverse stump cameras and a Spidercam on a line over the ground.
Meanwhile, the ICC today announced a partnership with ByteDance, the Chinese technology company, ensuring World Cup content will be delivered through the TikTok and Helo platforms.
TikTok, the world’s most downloaded app in 2018, showcases short-form video and will give cricket fans the chance to compete in a series of in-app challengesm, while Helo, India’s leading regional social media platform, will give Indian fans the chance to access the latest World Cup news in 14 Indian languages.
Dabas added: “Cricket has more than a billion fans and TikTok can help us connect with an even wider audience in such a fun and engaging way. As a sport we’re committed to building partnerships with companies that offer us the use of a range of platforms to connect and engage with our fans in a meaningful way. The multi-language format of Helo also allows us to increase our reach across India bringing more fans closer to the event than ever before.”