Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story: BBC lands commentary rights to ICC Cricket World Cup.

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

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Top story

The BBC has announced that it has secured commentary rights in the UK to next year's ICC Cricket World Cup


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The British public service broadcaster's celebrated Test Match Special (TMS) programme will provide live ball-by-ball commentary of the international 50-over competition, which is being held in England and Wales from 30th May to 14th July next year. 

The agreement is part of a wider long-term deal that ensures TMS will cover all of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) major events through to the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India. Commentary will be available on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, Radio 4 Long Wave and the BBC Sport website.

TMS commentator Jonathan Agnew described the deal as "fantastic news for our loyal army of fans," while ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "That the ball-by-ball coverage of the tournament will be broadcast on BBC Test Match Special is great news, it is part of the fabric of our game and has tremendous reach on multiple platforms across the United Kingdom."

The news will come as a relief to TMS's listeners after the BBC was outbid by Talksport in April for radio rights to the England cricket team’s upcoming tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies, marking the first time since 2005 that TMS has missed out on rights to an England overseas tour.


SAP, the German-based mulitnational software corporation, has been unveiled as the first technology partner of the Mercedes EQ Formula E team, which will join the all-electric racing series' grid in 2019.

New Zealand rugby league team the Warriors, who play in Australia's National Rugby League (NRL), have announced that Vodafone will remain their title sponsor for another two years. The telecommunications giant first teamed up with the Auckland-based club in 1998.  

Top-tier Italian soccer side Cagliari Calcio have extended their technical partnership with Macron. The Italian sportswear brand will continue to supply the Serie A team's kit until 2023. 

Global security provider Axitea is a new official partner of the Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula One team. 

English rugby league rivals St Helens and Warrington Wolves have both named sportswear retailer JD as an official partner. Both Super League outfits will carry the JD logo on the sleeve of their playing kits for the remainder of the 2018 season. 

Media rights

The BBC has picked up rights to this weekend's Street League Skateboarding series event at the Copper Box in London. Coverage will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website and via the red button digital service.


ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer service recently launched by sports broadcasting giant ESPN, has reached an agreement with US women's softball league National Pro Fastpitch to carry exclusive coverage of regular season games and the league’s Cowles Cup Championship Series. 


IMG College Licensing has announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, while the college sports agency has agreed a new deal with North Carolina (NC) State University. Under the terms of the agreements, IMG will manage each school’s trademark licensing program. The deal with NC State has an initial term of four years, while the new UNC-Chapel Hill agreement extends the partnership until 2025.

Snap of the day 

Uefa has teamed up with Snap Inc. to create an exclusive 3D Bitmoji Lens for social media platform Snapchat during Saturday’s Champions League final. The augmented reality (AR) lens will feature a user’s 3D ‘Bitmoji’— a user’s personal avatar— performing kick-ups as the Champions League anthem plays in the background.