The Amazon Prime Video streaming service has snapped up exclusive Australian broadcast rights to major events organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC) during the 2024-27 period.
Prime Video will now be home to the next set of men’s and women’s major ICC events, until the end of 2027, including the Cricket World Cup, Twenty20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, under-19 tournaments, and the World Test Championship Final. In total, the deal covers 448 live games across the four years.
The deal brings to an end a lengthy tender process, which initially began in September 2022 and had to restart in January – the Cricket Australia governing body had been conducting its own domestic rights process before that. Broadcasters could either bid for a four or eight-year deal covering men’s events, but only had the option of a four-year tie-up for women’s tournaments.
ICC event rights in Australia were held during the previous cycle – which ended after the 2023 men’s World Cup in India – by pay-TV corporation Foxtel and the free-to-air (FTA) Nine Network. That broadcaster's deal covered the 2020-23 period.
Nine covered all Australian games at the World Cup in India, as well as the other semi-final, on both its linear channel and its streaming platform through a sub-licensing deal struck with Foxtel in January 2022.
The ICC has said that this tie-up, beginning in January, will give Australian fans exclusive access to all tournament fixtures at no extra cost for Prime members. A Prime Video subscription in that market currently costs AU$9.99 ($6.64) monthly.
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Currently, Australia’s anti-siphoning laws only stipulate that ICC World Cup matches taking place in Australia or New Zealand and also featuring the home nation must be shown FTA – during the 2024-27 cycle, there are no events scheduled across those countries. ICC tournament finals in the two markets must also be covered FTA.
Geoff Allardice, chief executive at the ICC, said: “The recently concluded men’s Cricket World Cup has highlighted the interest and passion for ICC events across the globe, and especially in Australia where cricket fans have enjoyed the recent success of their men’s and women’s teams. We look forward to working with Prime Video Australia.”
The ICC has now added Australia to the list of markets where it has concluded broadcast rights deals for the next cycle. In terms of key territories, it has already struck agreements in India (Star, and Zee Entertainment), the UK and Ireland (Sky Sports), sub-Saharan Africa (SuperSport), and the US and Canada (Willow TV).
In September, meanwhile, invitations to tender were launched in the Middle East and North Africa, for 2024-27.
Deals have yet to be unveiled, however, in the major markets of New Zealand, the remainder of the subcontinent outside India, and the Caribbean.
Hushidar Kharas, the head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand, added: “We are always looking for ways to deliver more value to our customers and live sports is consistently one of their top requests. We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers the live broadcast of the Cricket World Cup included in their Prime membership.”
In total, 14 events are covered by the deal – eight men’s and six women’s. These start with the Under-19 men’s Cricket World Cup early next year, to be staged by South Africa.
Although the streaming service’s live sporting footprint in Australia has been insubstantial up to this point, it has produced several popular cricket-based behind-the-scenes documentaries in recent years, including The Test, which had access to the men’s team across the 2018-22 period.
In terms of offering live cricket anywhere, it has – up until now – only shown international matches played in New Zealand, to an Indian audience, through a deal that began with the 2020-21 season.