ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
No free-to-air broadcast for Australia's World Cup run
Foxtel and Kayo have exclusive broadcast rights to the 2021 T20 World Cup, making it the first men's World Cup in 11 years to not be on free-to-air television
8 October 2021, 08:06 PM AEST
Australia's bid for a maiden men's T20 World Cup title will be shown exclusively on subscription broadcast services for fans back home, with no free-to-air telecast of the tournament that begins next weekend in the Middle East.
It will be the first time the Australian men's team will play an ICC World Cup match exclusively behind a paywall since the 2010 World T20 event in the Caribbean.
Foxtel and Kayo Sports will broadcast every one of the tournament's 45 matches, beginning with the group stage clash between Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 17, through to the final on November 14.
Australia-based fans wanting to watch Aaron Finch's team play five Super 12 games before any potential finals appearances will need to sign up for one of the two paid services.
Kayo offers a 14-day free trial for new subscribers. Australia's five Super 12 games fall in a 15-day window between October 23 and November 6.
Three of Australia's matches – against South Africa, the West Indies and a qualifier – start at 9pm AEDT, while two other matches – against England and another qualifier – will be played at 1am AEDT.
Nine had been in line to show Australia's games, the finals and select other matches from the T20 World Cup that was scheduled to be held in Australia 12 months ago, but with that event postponed until 2022, the network confirmed it will not be broadcasting this year's tournament, and no other network has taken up the rights.
"This tournament did not exist when we reached our current agreement, therefore it does not form part of the current agreement," a spokesperson for Nine told cricket.com.au in an emailed statement.
The 2021 T20 World Cup has 'existed' since it was announced by the ICC in April 2018 as a replacement for the Champions Trophy 50-over tournament.
Australia's anti-siphoning list – designed to ensure events of significant cultural interest are broadcast on free-to-air – does include the T20 World Cup, but only matches played in Australia and New Zealand.
Nine and Foxtel have been in a joint venture to share rights for ICC events since 2008, banding together to purchase the Australian broadcast rights from the governing body's global broadcast rights partner, India's Star Sports. Cricket Australia has no say in broadcast rights for ICC events.
Under the arrangement, to satisfy the anti-siphoning requirements Nine and Foxtel would share rights for the ODI and T20 World Cups, while Foxtel had exclusive rights for the Champions Trophy tournaments.
The ICC then switched the 2010 Champions Trophy to a T20 World Cup, and Foxtel retained exclusive rights for that tournament.
Nine and Foxtel renewed their deal with Star in 2012 that ran until the end of the 2015 ODI World Cup on Australian soil, and struck fresh deal in 2016 on the eve of that year's men's T20 World Cup, the last time that tournament was held.
More recently, Nine did broadcast 13 of the 23 matches from the women's T20 World Cup played in Australia in early 2020, and screened Australia's matches and the finals of the 2019 men's ODI World Cup in England.
Foxtel's current deal with Star runs until the conclusion of the 2023 ODI World Cup, scheduled to be played in October and November of that year in India, although it remains unclear if Nine will continue to be the free-to-air broadcaster for those future events.
Queried on details of the "current agreement" it has with Foxtel, a Nine spokesperson would only say: "With discussions ongoing we are not in a position to answer those questions at this time."
Foxtel – and Kayo – will therefore be screening the 2022 Women's ODI World Cup to be played in New Zealand next February and March, and the men's T20 World Cup to be played in Australia in 12 months' time.
Both of those events would meet the criteria for Australia's anti-siphoning list – officially known as the Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice – and are at risk of having no free-to-air broadcast, although the shift in time zone is likely to be more appealing to local networks.
The anti-siphoning list does not mandate that events on it must be broadcast on free-to-air TV, only that a free-to-air broadcaster has the right to enter negotiations.
"The anti-siphoning list gives the free-to-air broadcasters the first right to negotiate," former Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said in 2018 when CA's last domestic broadcast rights deal was struck.
"It does not mandate that free-to-air broadcasters have to purchase events. It does not mandate that if they do purchase, that they have to show them. And it does not mandate that if they do purchase events that they can't then on-sell them to other platforms.
"What it does is give them the first opportunity and makes it more likely that these events will be on free-to-air TV."
The anti-siphoning scheme, which started in 1992, was extended earlier this year until April 2023 and the current Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, has indicated it will be reviewed as part of wider television regulation reforms before then.
Australia's men's T20 team was last seen on a free-to-air broadcast in June 2018. The team has played 45 matches since then, including 13 on home soil, available exclusively to Foxtel and Kayo subscribers (apart from one non-broadcast match against the UAE and the most recent tour of Bangladesh).
Australia's matches at the 2019 World Cup are their only ODIs to see free-to-air TV coverage since mid-2018.
2021 Men's T20 World Cup
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams
How the teams are grouped
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Oman
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1, B2
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, B1, A2
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