Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt announced a five year deal today with ESPN+ that will take West Indies cricket to ‘millions of households and viewers across the United States’ through the sports network’s streaming service.
The ESPN+ partnership, which starts with the all-format Sri Lanka cricket tour of the Caribbean in March, will feature live broadcast of every international West Indies home series covering all T20 Internationals, One-Day Internationals and Test matches within the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP).
“This is CWI’s largest ever media rights agreement in the USA and is the first of several new multi-year agreements which we will confirm in the coming weeks,” Skerritt told the CWI media office. “Broadcast media rights income is crucial to the future financial sustainability of CWI, and this five-year rights agreement is just the start of good things to come.”
ESPN Digital Media Programming vice-president John Lasker said the addition of the West Indies events to its scheduling is a signal of its growing interest in the sport.
“Cricket West Indies is among the best in the world and their ICC schedule over the next few years is second to none,” said Lasker. “Cricket has always been a priority for us with ESPNcrincinfo leading the way as the premier destination for cricket coverage and news.
“Adding a strong slate of CWI events to ESPN+ is just the latest example of our commitment to cricket and serving fans with the best, most comprehensive cricket content in the US.”
The new ESPN+ agreement also includes CWI’s regional 50-over tournament, the CG Insurance Super50 Cup, which will be the first live cricket event from the West Indies in the partnership.
The Super50 Cup runs from 7 to 27 February at the Coolidge Cricket Ground and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
“ESPN is the sports channel for American households and sports fans and we’re delighted that West Indies cricket will now be enjoyed in the homes and on the devices of millions of Americans,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave. “We have an ambitious strategic plan to grow our brand and content in North America, and ESPN is the perfect partner to help us achieve our goals.”