extends TV contracts with Channel 4 and Sky Sports
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today
agreed a three-year extension to its current television contracts
with Channel 4 and Sky Sports. The deal, which runs from 2003-2005,
represents an increase of 57% over the final three years of the
current four-year contract and is valued at close to £150m,
which includes off-air as well as on-air marketing spend.
In international cricket, the agreement covers the Zimbabwe and
African tour in 2003, the visit of New Zealand and the West Indies
in 2004 and the series against Bangladesh and Australia in 2005.
Channel 4 will continue to broadcast live coverage of six of the
seven npower Test Matches with Sky Sports broadcasting live coverage
of one npower Test Match and the entire NatWest Series of one-day
In domestic cricket, Sky Sports will continue its coverage of the
Norwich Union League, Benson & Hedges Cup and CricInfo Championship,
as well as England Under 19 and England Women's Internationals,
while both Sky Sports and Channel 4 will broadcast selected Cheltenham
& Gloucester Trophy matches.
The new deal confirms the ECB's commitment to keeping a balance
of cricket on terrestrial and satellite television. The TV contract
will terminate simultaneously with the current BBC Radio contract.
Terry Blake, ECB Commercial Director, said, "This is a great
cricket. Channel 4 and Sky Sports have been excellent partners of
and I congratulate them both for their success in modernising the
broadcast of televised cricket.
"In particular this news is a big fillip for the grassroots
the game. The ECB currently spends 11% of its TV money on grassroots
development - a figure already in excess of the 5%-10% figure the
Government would like to see invested by sport governing bodies
in the medium term. The increased revenue of the new deal will greatly
enhance our future development activities."
David Brook, Director of Strategy & Development, Channel 4,
has been a very successful partnership. We are proud that the game
has been re-energised and proud of the success that our innovations
have brought to it. English cricket is back on the map and Test
Match cricket goes from strength to strength. We look forward to
expression of confidence from the ECB by continuing to make further
investment in the sport, particularly in grassroots and the domestic
game, to ensure that the next generation of cricketers come through."
Vic Wakeling, Managing Director, Sky Sports, said: "We have
been covering cricket from home and abroad since we launched Sky
Sports ten years ago, and we share the ECB's enthusiasm for the
future of the game. England's improvement under Nasser Hussain and
Duncan Fletcher is obvious to all, and we look forward to following
them in the international arena - here> and around the world.
"The ten one-day internationals were the highlight of the summer
for Sky Sports last year, and we are delighted to look forward to
summers and the same calibre of entertainment.
"In the same way, the Norwich Union League is working well
for both Sky Sports and for the counties. The games we show are
all played on a Saturday or Sunday, or as day-night games during
the week. The majority of viewers are at home to see them and they
are seeing good crowds and a good atmosphere - it is a huge success
"We will also continue to innovate, with more live interactive
for our Sky digital viewers - a service that has proved very popular
more analysis tools such as this summer's Sky Scope system. It's
a great sport to be involved in and we look forward to a healthy
- ends -
further information, please call ECB Corporate Affairs on 020 7432
1200 Channel 4, Lysette Cohen: 020 7306 8686 Sky Sports, Claire
Walker: 020 7705 3872