BT Sport make a new bid to take the sports coverage crown from giants Sky as they make it clear that they will go head to head for cricket and golf coverage.
Since winning the bid for coverage of the UEFA and Europa League matches, BT Sport have knocked Sky off their ‘exclusive, live rights’ podium. Now both platforms show these games and the battle has well and truly commenced for the title, but BT Sport are committed to knocking Sky off permanently.
While Sky have announced that they have secured the rights to exclusive coverage for cricket in New Zealand, Speedway, WWE, Scottish Football and the British and Irish Lions’ tour of New Zealand in 2017, BT Sport are looking to make a bid for some key cricketing and golfing moments.
Sky are in the process of finalising the deal they have struck with the Indian Premier League (IPL), with it being announced that they have dropped considerably more than ITV did for coverage rights last year. With the IPL being the flagship tournament for the shortest format of the game, it has grown in popularity since its establishment in 2008 and now is one of the most anticipated tournaments in domestic cricket.
With this shorter format pulling in more interest from the average sports fan and incorporating all of the biggest players regardless of their nationality – with many having retired from representing their country many years ago – there is the opportunity to make some serious money on the broadcasting rights.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced that they will be opening up the auction for the rights to broadcast their World Twenty20, 50-over World Cup and Champions Trophy archives and BT have made it clear that they will be entering into this auction. Sky Sports currently have the rights to broadcast all live international fixtures played by England at home and all fixtures in India, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
As for the golfing side of the deal, BT have stated that they will be making a claim for that too. The US PGA tour is up for tender this year, despite Sky having the rights to broadcast until 2017. This means that Tiger Woods’ memorable shots could be viewed by more people – with no monthly charge.
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