Cricket Australia, ABC extend 80-year association with 6-year extension deal

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Cricket Australia has inked six-year radio partnership extension deals with the ABC, Macquarie Media Limited (MML) and Crocmedia. The new agreement will come into effect from the 2018-19 season and further extend the Cricket Australia’s 80-year-old association with its radio commentary partner.

The deals will provide the Australian cricket fans with access to more cricket content via live radio commentary and other ways to tune in than ever before, the Australian cricket board has stated in its official release.

Australian commercial media company Macquarie Radio, who won the rights as Cricket Australia’s primary radio partner, has sub-licensed the rights to both ABC and Crocmedia, a radio sports syndication network, who will host Australian cricket for the first time.

With ABC’s partnership with Cricket Australia – which spans more than 80 years –  will see the broadcaster increasing its number of broadcast matches.

The new agreements mean for the first time all Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) matches will receive national radio coverage together with continued coverage of all Commonwealth Bank Women’s Internationals, all Men’s Internationals and all KFC Big Bash League (BBL) matches.

ABC will continue its commitment to delivering national coverage of all Men’s International and Commonwealth Bank Women’s International cricket and for the first time will also provide coverage of every match of WBBL cricket, available across Australia via a mix of digital and AM/FM channels, in effect becoming the radio home of women’s cricket. The ABC will also call Prime Minister’s XI and Governor General’s XI matches, which will be available via digital channels.

The partnership with MML and Crocmedia will offer greater choice and greater reach to cricket fans on commercial radio across both metro and regional Australia. MML’s new dedicated Macquarie Sports Radio channel in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth will cover all Men’s and Commonwealth Bank Women’s Internationals and every match of the BBL, complemented with MML’s Perth 6PR AM broadcasting selected Men’s International matches and all Perth Scorcher matches.

Crocmedia will also hold the exclusive regional commercial radio rights to further expand cricket’s reach via their syndicated regional networks, and will also cover on SEN in Melbourne all Men’s Tests and all BBL matches.

Importantly, the deals grant digital streaming rights to radio partners to provide coverage above and beyond the traditional AM/FM channels. All matches broadcast as part of the radio rights deal will also be made available to stream via Cricket Australia’s digital platforms.

Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland, said the new radio rights agreements give fans great access to more forms of the game than ever before.

“We are excited to announce our new radio rights deals with the ABC, Macquarie Media and Crocmedia, which will deliver comprehensive coverage of international and Big Bash cricket to fans across Australia.

“We were very disappointed by inaccurate reporting this week suggesting that the ABC would no longer broadcast cricket. It undermined our commitment to the ABC and the ABC’s longstanding commitment to cricket.

“Never for a minute had it crossed our minds that the ABC was not a staple in the Australian cricketing summer.

“Radio has long been an important part of how people enjoy cricket in Australia over the summer, and the breadth and depth of these agreements ensures that people will be able to tune in to the cricket action regardless of where they are.

“In addition to continued commitments around the broadcast of Women’s International matches, it is pleasing to have secured radio coverage for all WBBL matches, a clear sign of the rapidly growing interest from fans for the competition.

“We are also excited to announce a new radio rights deal, which sees Macquarie Media return as a valued radio partner and Crocmedia also coming on board to complement cricket’s radio footprint via their extensive regional syndication network. We are now looking forward to working together with these partners to deliver fantastic coverage of our game and promote cricket to all Australians.”

The Managing Director of the ABC, Michelle Guthrie, said, “Cricket on ABC Radio is a big part of any Australian summer and I am really delighted we are continuing to forge a strong partnership with Cricket Australia to provide live commentary to as many Australians as possible.   I am also pleased ABC Radio will be the source of women’s cricket, with all matches of Women’s International and WBBL cricket broadcast live on one of our platforms which is a big win for audiences.”

Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang said, “I am delighted that Macquarie Media’s association with Cricket Australia will continue. Our ‘Summer of Cricket’ commentary team has now become established as one of the favourite destinations for Cricket fans across all formats of the game.

“Our audiences love the passion, enthusiasm, insight and professionalism that the “Summer of Cricket” team brings and we look forward to growing that further throughout this new agreement”

Pacific Star Network Managing Director and Crocmedia’s Chief Executive Officer Craig Hutchison said, “Cricket on the radio is a right of passage and part of our culture in this country. It is a huge honour for Crocmedia and 1116 SEN  to be among those to take the responsibility moving forward.

“We thank CA for the opportunity and promise to live up to our end with a fresh perspective and contemporary coverage headed by Gerard Whateley. We congratulate Macquarie also and look forward to working with them and CA for the betterment of the game and its fans all around the country. “

The radio rights announcement follows Cricket Australia’s recent announcement of a landmark six-year broadcast partnership with FOX SPORTS and Seven West Media.

Rights Portfolio of the respective Radio agencies:

ABC – Commonwealth Bank Women’s Internationals, Men’s Internationals, Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, Prime Minister’s XI, Governor General’s XI

Macquarie Media Limited – Commonwealth Bank Women’s Internationals, Men’s Internationals, KFC Big Bash League

Crocmedia on SEN 1116 – Men’s Tests, KFC Big Bash League