More detail has emerged on what the digital partnership between Foxtel and Cricket Australia will mean for fans who like to view their cricket matches and highlights online.
Last week, Seven West Media and Fox Sports signed a $1.182 billion deal to jointly broadcast international and domestic cricket in Australia for the next six years. That ended a four-decade association between cricket and the Nine Network, while Network Ten had broadcast the Big Bash League for the past five years.
On the weekend, the new broadcasters gave an early insight into their plans for the biggest overhaul of cricket coverage for 40 years, with a fresh approach through new and diverse commentary teams, the ability to select your own camera angles and second-screening.
Now details are emerging of the digital partnership between CA's Cricket Network – including the cricket.com.au website and the CA Live app – and Fox Sports. These new details clarify the availability of live stream broadcasts.
Australian Men and Women’s Test, ODI and T20 international cricket played at home will all be streamed by the Cricket Network, as well as on Foxtel platforms, but a Foxtel subscription will be necessary to view it.
Users will be able to access a live stream of every ball bowled in summer through the cricket.com.au website and Cricket Australia Live app, but matches that are also on TV can only be viewed with a Foxtel subscription.
The Cricket Network will take the Fox Sports broadcast feed, uninterrupted and ad-free, with the subscription TV's commentators and content.
CA Live and cricket.com.au will continue to offer free live streaming coverage of every Sheffield Shield match, except the final, 36 Rebel WBBL matches, the Women's National Cricket League championship, as well as selected tour matches against international teams.
In essence, every ball bowled in elite cricket in Australia that is not broadcast on Seven or Fox will be available on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app for free, as well as all the highlights and clips that users have come to expect, without a Foxtel subscription.
Additionally, Cricket Network users will for the first time be able to access official extended highlights from matches played overseas for which Fox have obtained rights, including Australia's five-match ODI and T20 international tour to England in June.
Fox has already secured live rights for international matches played in India, England, South Africa and New Zealand, and has a long-standing and impressive record of showing cricket coverage from around the globe.
After their limited-overs matches in England, the Australian team will head to Zimbabwe for a T20 tri-series also featuring Pakistan in July, and will visit the UAE in September and October to face Pakistan in Test and limited-overs cricket.
Fox has this year also secured the rights to show the IPL in Australia for the first time in several years.
"We think this is a win for the fans as you'll have more cricket across more platforms than ever, including women's," said CA's executive general manager of broadcast and digital, Ben Amarfio.
The Australian Financial Review has reported Foxtel is planning to release a sports-only streaming service, available for a lower price than a standard subscription, in order to attract sports fans who currently do not have Foxtel.
Seven has opted to concentrate on its free-to-air broadcast, with no live streaming available through its 7Plus service. Seven will broadcast all Australia Test matches – against India and Sri Lanka this summer – as well as 43 of the 59 men's Big Bash League games, which will include the finals.
CA will soon start a tender process to determine the radio rights holders for the coming summer and beyond.