BBC fights back in battle with Talksport by landing all cricket World Cup rights

Adil Rashid (L), Jos Buttler (C) and Moeen Ali –   BBC fight back in battle with Talksport by landing all cricket World Cup rights

The BBC’s Test Match Special has beaten Talksport to the rights for all cricket World Cups for the next four years.

The deal with the International Cricket Council takes in all global events, starting with next month’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA. There is a women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year, too.

The BBC has retained the rights ahead of Talksport, who also bid, at a time when the two stations are competing hard to broadcast international cricket.

Talksport beat the BBC to the rights to England’s tour of India earlier this year, and will broadcast the men’s tour of New Zealand later this year. It has also held rights to tours to South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies in recent years.

The BBC has managed to hold onto many of the biggest deals, though. Notably it broadcast every ball of domestic and international cricket at home, as well as retaining the men’s and women’s Ashes. The rights to World Cups fit into this category too, especially as there is a women’s World Cup in England in 2026.

Next on the agenda for the BBC is the renewal of its TV rights deal with the ECB later this year. It currently has the rights to broadcast rights games live in the men’s and women’s Hundred, four live international T20s (two men’s, two women’s), as well as all international highlights and, crucially, digital clips. The BBC is expected to retain the rights, but there may be some tweaks to what is broadcast.

The ECB worked hard in 2018 to bring the BBC back to live cricket on TV and would be extremely reluctant to lose them, especially at a sensitive time with the ongoing sale of stakes of team’s in the Hundred.