US-based internet giant makes first major foray into Australian sports broadcasting by securing rights for all ICC global tournaments
Amazon swoops in to snare ICC broadcast rights
Amazon has taken a major leap forward in the Australian live sports broadcasting landscape by snaring the rights for the International Cricket Council's global events for the next four years.
But there will be no free-to-air Australian broadcast of any men's or women's ICC events under the deal.
The US-based internet giant's Prime Video arm was announced as the new Australian rights holder for all ICC events until the end of 2027 today, becoming the fourth major broadcaster of cricket to Australian audiences, and the first that is entirely online.
It brings to an end the 15-year joint-venture for ICC events between Foxtel and Channel Nine, which concluded with Pat Cummins' men lifting the ODI World Cup in Ahmedabad last month.
An average audience of more than 2.1 million Australians tuned in to the broadcast of the World Cup final, including 1.6m on Nine.
Under that deal, Foxtel sub-licenced the Australian rights from the ICC's global broadcast partner, India's Star Sports, and then on-sold select matches from some tournaments to Nine to meet the conditions of Australia's anti-siphoning legislation.
Complicating the landscape further for viewers, the ICC had struck a one-off deal for this year's World Test Championship final direct with the Seven Network.
The next two World Test Championship finals, to be held at Lord's in June 2025 and another in mid-2027, are included in Amazon's new deal.
Cricket Australia has no involvement or sway in the ICC's broadcast deals, and with no new free-to-air partner Aussie fans will be forced to pay to watch Australia's tilt at more global silverware, starting with January's men's U19 World Cup in South Africa.
Under the latest version of the anti-siphoning legislation, formally known as the Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice, which was last updated in September, only cricket World Cup matches played by Australia in either Australia or New Zealand are covered from ICC events.
There are no ICC tournaments scheduled to be hosted by Australia or New Zealand in the next four years. The 2028 men's T20 World Cup is scheduled to be hosted down under, which falls outside the timeframe of Amazon's new deal.
The announcement of a deal understood to have been struck some months ago comes just days after the federal government reaffirmed its commitment to anti-siphoning measures for sporting events. Communications minister Michelle Rowland last week introduced laws to parliament updating anti-siphoning measures that, when enacted as legislation, would require free-to-air services to be offered first refusal for important sporting events.
This year's WTC final deal had been an indicator Seven was in the mix for the ICC rights, or at least as a free-to-air partner.
However, it marks the second major cricket rights deal the network has missed out on this month, with Nine understood to be extending its deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board to continue showing Ashes Tests played in the UK for the 2027 and 2031 tours.
ICC events Amazon holds rights to:
- Men's T20 World Cup: USA/West Indies (June/July 2024)
- Women's T20 World Cup: Bangladesh (September/October 2024)
- Men's Champions Trophy: Pakistan (February/March 2025)
- World Test Championship final: England (June 2025)
- Women's ODI World Cup: India (September/October 2025)
- Men's T20 World Cup: India/Sri Lanka (September/October 2026)
- Women's T20 World Cup: England (June 2026)
- Women's Champions Trophy: Sri Lanka (February 2027)
- World Test Championship final (mid-2027)
- Men's ODI World Cup: South Africa/Namibia (October/November 2027)
- * Deal also includes all ICC Qualifier and U19 World Cup events
Seven has held Cricket Australia's domestic broadcast rights in a partnership with Foxtel since 2018 when the pair joined forces for a $1.182 billion deal that ended a 40-year association between CA and Nine.
Seven and Foxtel in January signed a new seven-year domestic broadcast rights deal with CA worth $1.512 billion. They are in the final summer of their initial six-year deal signed in 2018, with international and Big Bash cricket played in Australia to remain on Foxtel, Kayo and Seven until the end of the 2030-31 summer.
The ICC opted to strike direct deals in each market for its new rights cycle. A deal for the Indian market with Disney Star, reported to be worth US$3bn for the four-year cycle until the end of 2027, was minted in August last year, while in January the ICC signed an eight-year deal with Sky Sports for the UK rights.
The ICC went to market with its Australian rights in September 2022 inviting broadcasters to bid separately for men's and women's events, with television and digital rights packaged together, for either a four-year or eight-year cycle.
The global governing body paused that process with CA also in the market, which resulted in the seven-year extension of the domestic rights with Seven and Foxtel.
Amazon's Prime Video already holds global broadcast rights for Australian swimming events, and broadcasts New Zealand Cricket's home internationals in India. It also hosts the two series of The Test documentary charting the Australian cricket team's progress in 2018-19, and 2021-22, and the just-announced third season that will chart the 2023 World Test Championship final and men's Ashes.
Cricket's broadcast jungle: Where to watch
- Australian men's Tests and all women's internationals on home soil: Seven, Fox Cricket, Kayo
- Australian men's limited-overs internationals on home soil: Fox Cricket, Kayo
- ICC events (male and female): Amazon Prime
- Men's Ashes tours in 2027 and 2031: Nine Network
- Other Australian men's internationals on foreign soil: Fox Cricket, Kayo
- Women's internationals on foreign soil: Fox Cricket, Kayo
- KFC BBL and Weber WBBL: Seven, Fox Cricket, Kayo
- Marsh Sheffield Shield, Marsh One-Day Cup and Women's National Cricket League: CA Live app and cricket.com.au (select games, including Shield final, on Fox Cricket and Kayo)