BT Sport have won the TV rights for Ashes series in Australia for five years from 2017-18, according to reports.
The Ashes adds to BT’s growing sports portfolio which now includes all Champions League fixtures, as well as a portion of the Premier League fixtures, which will increase from 2016-17 to included 42 matches, compared to Sky Sports’ 126.
BT are believed to have paid £16m a year for the deal, according to the Daily Mail, a sum which has allowed them to beat competition from current rights-holder Sky Sports to air the series on British television.
The channel announced Gary Linekar as the host for their Champions League coverage in the summer, and are now sure to go on the hunt for more of their rivals’ presenting talent.
“When we launched BT Sport we promised to make televised football far more accessible and affordable than it has been to date,” read a statement from John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, at the time of Linekar’s unveiling.
“We have opened the market to millions of new customers and we want to build on that as BT Sport becomes the undisputed home of European football.
“We are of course giving our best offer to existing customers – broadband customers will get the new BT Sport Pack for the heavily discounted price of £5, whilst customers who take broadband and TV from us will get it absolutely free.
“This is a new chapter for European football on TV. BT Sport will show hundreds of live matches throughout the tournament using the very latest technology. Our presenters and experts will also provide the smartest insight and analysis.”
With the Ashes deal BT Sport are now looking to make an impact in cricket as well as football.