Australian free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster Seven Network has acquired exclusive rights to men’s cricket’s World Test Championship (WTC) Final in June.
Under an agreement with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the network will show the test match between Australia and India from The Oval in London, between June 7 and 11, on both its linear channels and through the 7plus streaming service.
Seven adds this prestigious, one-off encounter – which comes at the end of the ICC’s 2021-23 World Test Championship cycle – to its existing portfolio of cricket rights, which includes a sizeable proportion of Australian home matches (both men’s and women’s) until 2031.
The network has not broadcast a test match that has taken place outside Australia for over 20 years.
The ICC sells media rights for each edition of the WTC Final itself, while its individual member nations sell their home bilateral series which make up each cycle.
The governing body has not yet secured an Australian buyer for the next set of media rights for its other major men’s events (including the ODI World Cup and the T20 World Cup), starting later this year, and indeed was forced to re-tender this package in January.
Lewis Martin, head of network sport for Seven, said: “The showdown between Australia and India will be one of the great moments in international sport this year and we are honored to be partnering with the ICC to bring all the action to Australians, live, free and exclusive on Seven and 7plus."
Anurag Dahiya, the ICC’s chief commercial officer, added: “We are delighted to partner with the Seven Network to bring the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 to our fans in Australia. The second edition of the ultimate test is set to be a momentous occasion, and we can’t wait to see who will be crowned the new world champions.”
The last WTC Final also took place in England, in June 2021, and saw India defeated by New Zealand.
Seven unveiled the renewal of its domestic rights deal covering international cricket in Australia, in early January. It will air all home men’s test matches and women’s internationals between 2024 and 2031, alongside Cricket Australia’s other main domestic rights partner, pay-TV network Foxtel.
It will also cover a number of games from the country’s premier Twenty20 competitions – the Big Bash League and the women’s BBL – each season.
Just after the WTC Final comes a five-test series between England and Australia – the Ashes. This year, Australian rights to that series reside exclusively with Seven’s FTA rival Nine.
Earlier this month, the ICC announced the extension of its rights deal in the US and Canada with Willow TV, until the end of 2027.
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