BREAKING NEWS:Big US Streamers Snares The Rights To World Cup Cricket Big Blow To Nine
It was only a matter of time before it had to happen, a big US Company has snared the rights to some of the world’s biggest cricket tournaments, days out from the Labor Federal Government moving to make it more difficult for streaming operators to broadcast content, without it being made available for free.
Prime Video owned by Amazon has won the rights to some of cricket’s biggest games including T20 World Cups, the Champions Trophy and the World Test Championship Final until 2027, how much they paid is not known.
Consumers who have traditionally watched on free to air TV will now need a Prime Video subscription.
The deal with the ICC is the first to be publicly announced since the government introduced legislation to give free-to-air television networks priority over streaming services.
The AFR Claims that Communication Minister Michelle Rowland’s reform is an attempt to prevent streaming services such as Optus Sport, Kayo Sports, Prime Video, Paramount+ and Stan Sport from outbidding free-to-air television networks and putting events behind a paywall.
ChannelNews understands that the US owned Company also wants to go after the AFL and NRL rights when they become available.
With cricket set to sit behind a paywall from next year the big losers are Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media and Kayo, Foxtel subscribers who also subscribe to Amazon Prime will still have access to the cricket.
The deal means an array of broadcast rights – previously held by Foxtel, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media – will be consolidated at Prime Video.
More than 1.6 million viewers watched the match on Nine, according to OzTAM data with the network also struggling to attract people to watch Rugby Union on Stan after forking out $100M for the rights.
Australia won the 2023 Men’s World Cup, with the 2026 World Cup now in the hands of a US Company whose native Country has no serious cricket leagues or games shown on air.
Hushidar Kharas, head of Prime Video Australia and New Zealand, said the deal with the International Cricket Council complemented the platform’s existing content.
“We are honoured to partner with the ICC as it continues to grow one of the most popular sports in the world,” Mr Kharas said.
“We are committed to providing premium content for Prime members and championing Australian sports following strong customer demand for the documentaries Test S1-3, Making Their Mark, Shane, Warriors on the Field, and Kick Like Tayla.
More than 2 million people in Australia watched Mitchell Starc and the rest of the national cricket team in the World Cup final.
Events that must be offered to free-to-air television sit on an anti-siphoning list.
Under the legislation, the ICC has no obligation to offer the broadcast rights to Australian World Cup or Championship matches unless they are played in Australia or New Zealand.
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said the most recent Cricket World Cups showed how passionate Australians were about cricket.