World Cup set to create new benchmark for cricket coverage

22 May 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said the forthcoming Men’s World Cup is set to be the most widely available cricket tournament in history, with its reach further bolstered through a new partnership with technology company ByteDance.

The 2019 World Cup runs from 30th May to 14th July in England and Wales. With support from the ICC’s global broadcast partner, Star Sports, the tournament will be broadcast live to more than 200 territories via 25 broadcast partners.

The tournament will also be broadcast across seven regional language feeds in India, with Star Sports producing feeds in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bangla and Marathi. A select 12 matches will also be broadcast in Malayalam via Asianet Plus. Star Sports will also carry all ICC TV produced matches in English.

Around the world, World Cup will be broadcast on Star Sports (India and the rest of the Indian Sub-continent), Sky Sports (United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland), SuperSport (South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa), OSN (Middle East & North Africa), Fox Sports Australia and Channel 9 (Australia), Willow TV (USA), Sky TV and Prime (New Zealand), Ten Sports and PTV (Pakistan), ESPN (Caribbean), Gazi TV, Maasranga and BTV (all Bangladesh), SLRC (Sri Lanka) and Fox Network Group (China and South East Asia), Digicel (Asia Pacific), Radio Television Afghanistan (Afghanistan) and Yupp TV (Continental Europe and Central Asia). 

Sky Sports, rights holder in the host countries, will show all matches via Sky Sports Cricket which becomes a dedicated ‘Cricket World Cup’ channel from 30th May. This will be complemented by a one-hour highlights show on commercial broadcaster Channel 4, which will air approximately three hours after the end of each game.

Fans across the world will be able to keep up to date through in-play clips highlights and event content made available via the ICC’s global network of digital clip rights licensees.

A total of 12 digital partners with coverage in more than 200 countries will provide cricket fans up to six minutes per hour of near-live match content – as well as match previews, media conferences, match highlights and event features – available to view across their portfolios of smartphone apps, websites and other digital properties with a focus on mobile. 

Digital clip rights licensees include: BBC (UK & Republic of Ireland), ESPNcricinfo (UK, Republic of Ireland, South-East Asia and Australia), Hotstar (India), Cricbuzz (US & Canada), Cricingif (Pakistan), ThePapare.compowered by Dialog (Sri Lanka), SKY (New Zealand), Bongo (Bangladesh and South-East Asia) Cricket Gateway (South-East Asia & Australia), OSN (Middle East & North Africa), Bolt (South-East Asia) and Channel 2 Group (Sub-Saharan Africa, Caribbean, UK & Republic of Ireland, Europe, South-East Asia and Australia).

In addition, news access partnerships are in place with Perform and SNTV for all matches, with Reuters and AFP joining for select matches, including the semi-finals and final. Each news access partner will distribute 90-second news clips, to their clients across the world, often to non-traditional cricket playing nations such as Turkey, Kuwait and Iceland.

In a world first for one-day international (ODI) cricket, the ICC has partnered with cineplexes across India, the UAE and Bahrain to broadcast live matches. A selection of matches can be viewed at INOX (India), Novo (UAE & Bahrain) and Reel (UAE) cinemas, across the course of the tournament. The ICC also continues its partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE), who through their OceanPrime channel, will reach fans aboard major cruise liners across the world.

ICC Head of Media Rights, Broadcast and Digital, Aarti Dabas, said: “Through diversification of ICC’s media rights programme, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 promises to the most widely available cricket tournament in history, which will cater to fans of all demographics, on every continent.

“We are confident that by making the coverage available on different platforms, the engagement with the event and indeed cricket will increase and sustain cricket’s growth for years to come. In the short term, we are looking forward to connecting with the world, entertaining all existing and new cricket viewers and inspiring a new generation of fans.”

Meanwhile, the ICC’s new partnership with ByteDance will focus on delivering exciting campaigns and unique content at the World Cup through the platforms of TikTok and Helo.

TikTok, the world’s most downloaded app in 2018, will give cricket fans the chance to compete in a series of in-app challenges. Helo, India’s leading regional social media platform, will give Indian fans the chance to access the latest World Cup news in 14 Indian languages.

Dabas added: “Cricket has more than a billion fans and TikTok can help us connect with an even wider audience in such a fun and engaging way. As a sport we’re committed to building partnerships with companies that offer us the use of a range of platforms to connect and engage with our fans in a meaningful way. The multi-language format of Helo also allows us to increase our reach across India bringing more fans closer to the event than ever before.”