BeIN agrees rights deal with ECB

Middle Eastern broadcaster to cover English cricket.

BeIN agrees rights deal with ECB

Qatar-based broadcaster BeIN Media Group has signed a major deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The six-year deal will give cricket fans in BeIN's Middle East and North Africa (MENA) territories access to first-class cricket matches involving the England national cricket team until 2023, including India's tours of England in 2018 and 2022, and the 2019 Ashes series.

As well as international fixtures, BeIN will also screen fixtures from the ECB's domestic leagues, including the T20 Blast, Royal London One-Day Cup and the County Championship. From 2020, it will show the ECB's new eight-team T20 competition.

The deal augments BeIN's cricket coverage in the Middle East. Earlier this month it confirmed a similar arrangement with Cricket Australia, which will kick off with this year's Ashes series.

BeIN also announced that it is set to launch a dedicated cricket channel in the MENA region at some point in 2018.

Tom Harrison, CEO of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome BeIN Media Group to our broader family of broadcast partners and excited by their plans to create their own dedicated cricket channel for the first time.

"Our international and domestic teams are attracting an ever-expanding global audience and this new partnership will give even more cricket fans worldwide an opportunity to follow all the action and excitement from our game."

Earlier this year, Harrison spoke to SportsPro about the evolution of the ECB's approach to its broadcast plans.