ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) has entered into a five-year deal for the exclusive rights to broadcast Cricket Australia's (CA) domestic and home international matches.
While the size of the deal could not be ascertained during the time of filing this report, industry experts state that ESS has spent an estimated US$20 million to acquire the rights.
As a part of the deal, the current Future Tours Programme (FTP) will see ESPN-STAR Sports broadcast more than 191 days of live international cricket action from Australia, including 27 test matches, 44 one day internationals (ODIs) and 12 Twenty20 games.
Over the next five years, all of the leading teams will visit Australia. In addition to the Ashes between England and Australia in 2013-14 which, based on the current FTP, will see five test matches, five ODIs and three Twenty20 matches, other top cricket nations such as South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand will also tour Australia to test their mettle in the fiercely competitive environment of cricket down under.
Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN-STAR Sports, says, "Now, with a line up of cricket including Cricket Australia, England & Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council and Champions League Twenty20, we want to establish and strengthen our position as the biggest cricket network and the No.1 sports content provider in Asia."
In addition to the international cricket action, ESS also plans to broadcast Cricket Australia's domestic cricket over 280 days. This includes popular tournaments such as the KFC Big Bash T20, the four-day Bupa Sheffield Shield tournament and the Ryobi One Day Cup.
India's forthcoming tour of Australia, starting December 26, will feature four test matches, two Twenty20 matches and a tri-angular one day series, with Sri Lanka as the third team. The tri-series will have as many as 15 one day internationals. All the matches of this series will be televised live on STAR Cricket and STAR Cricket HD, and the tri-series will also be broadcast on ESPN.