Mumbai: Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India have acquired the exclusive broadcast and digital rights from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the Indian subcontinent for a period of five years starting in 2018 through 2022.
The bouquet includes men’s and women’s Test matches, T20 Internationals and One-Day Internationals (ODIs), played in England.
The recent acquisition further bolsters the impressive cricket portfolio of SPN that already possesses exclusive media rights for Cricket Australia, Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket, Cricket South Africa, Cricket West Indies and Zimbabwe Cricket Board. The development means SPN will broadcast both high-profile cricket tours — England and Australia — that Virat Kohli’s men will embark on later this year.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajesh Kaul, President Sports and Distribution of SPN told Firstpost, “ECB is a very prestigious board and the quality of cricket they play does attract a lot of audience. The idea was to strengthen our position in cricket portfolio and become a one-stop destination for international bilateral cricket.
“We will have 300 days of cricket in next 12-14 months, out of which 55-60 days will be on Indian cricket alone, including the two big tours to England and Australia. Also, we will try and show as much women's cricket as we can.”
Apart from cricket, SPN will also broadcast the upcoming Commonwealth Games (CWG), Asian Games and the FIFA World Cup.
“We will also show CWG, Asian Games and FIFA World Cup this year, which adds lot of diversity to our portfolio. The response to the Under-17 FIFA World Cup that we broadcast was tremendous and we are hoping for a similar response with non-cricketing action,” Kaul added.
NP Singh, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SPN said, “The acquisition of media rights of ECB for a five-year term, effective now through 2022, provides for some exciting cricket viewership. Cricket is a passion for most Indians and this term of ECB games includes three tours of the Indian cricket team which promises some thrilling cricket, the first of these coming close on the heels of the hugely exciting South Africa series."
"SPN will now be home to almost all international away series giving our fans a one-stop destination to view their favourite stars in action. We remain committed to building a multi-sports culture in India and we will lead sports broadcast action during June to September 2018 by airing FIFA for football fans and ECB games for cricket lovers," he added.
India’s tour to England begins on 3 July with three T20Is, followed by an ODI series. The five-Test series begins on 1 August in Birmingham.