The BBC has renewed its partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) to secure the live radio rights for the Ashes, a five-Test cricket series played between England and Australia.
The five-year extension will see the public service broadcaster cover both the men’s and women’s series on its Test Match Special (TMS) programme, starting with this winter’s edition in Australia. TMS will also cover England’s home Ashes series in the summer of 2019.
Additionally, the deal between the BBC and Cricket Australia grants exclusive UK radio rights for all international women’s and men’s cricket in Australia, and non-exclusive rights for the Big Bash League and Women’s Big Bash League Twenty20 competitions, up to the 2021-22 season.
Ben Gallop, head of BBC radio sport and digital, said: “We’re thrilled BBC radio will once again be the home of the Ashes in Australia for the next five years, and that we’ll also be covering some of the other great cricket competitions taking place in Australia over this period.
“This deal is a brilliant way to mark the 60th anniversary of Test Match Special, which remains one of the most-treasured programmes on the BBC.”
Ben Amarfio, CA’s executive general manager of broadcasting, digital media and commercial, added: “The BBC’s cricket coverage has long been an integral part of the sport in the UK, and this agreement will mean more people will be able to enjoy the scintillating cricket action this Australian summer and for the next five years.”
The upcoming Ashes series will go ahead after the ongoing pay dispute between Australia’s players and CA was resolved. The series will be shown in the UK for the first time by pay-TV channel BT Sport as part of a five-year partnership between the broadcaster and CA. The five Tests are scheduled to take place between 23rd November 2017 and 8th January 2018.