Cricket Ireland have confirmed three major deals designed to extend the reach of national fixtures to a record global television audience.
Sky Sports will broadcast ball-by-ball coverage in the Ireland and UK markets of the Test Match against Pakistan (May 11-15) and the two T20Is against India (June 27-29).
RTÉ Television will broadcast a daily one-hour highlights package for the Test Match against Pakistan and the two T20Is against India.
Pitch International have sold the overseas television broadcast rights in a number of countries, across a number of networks including key markets like the US, Canada, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, south Asia and Australia.
“This broadcast package is set to break Irish sporting records, as we anticipate that the T20I series against India alone will be the biggest worldwide TV audience of any event – sporting or otherwise - ever staged in Ireland,” said Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom. “Since being confirmed as a Full Member of the International Cricket Council in June 2017, we have seen unprecedented interest in Irish cricket – most notably from a range of potential broadcast partners.
“We are delighted to announce today the structure of the broadcasting schedule for the coming season, and we anticipate our fans worldwide will be pleased with the comprehensive nature of the package.
“The combined broadcast audience for our summer of men’s cricket will reach many millions of sets of eyeballs – a remarkable achievement for a sporting team that only entered the global consciousness just over a decade ago after its heroics at the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
“It’s been an amazing trajectory over the last 10 years. From playing in front of a few hundred a few short years ago, to playing last year at Lord’s Cricket Ground in front of 25,000 – and now we are set to take that next step.
“To know so many people around the world are interested in our team should be a moment of pride for everyone connected with Irish cricket.
“Revenues have certainly increased, but so too have costs of staging the events.
“We are essentially building a pop-up cricket stadium on a greenfield site, but we understand we have to take risks if we are to compete with the big beasts of the GAA, rugby and football.
“This summer pushes us forward as an organisation and as a sport – it is a real investment in making cricket a mainstream sport in Ireland.”
RTÉ Sport confirmed that the Test Match and T20I highlights shows will on broadcast on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.
Ryle Nugent, Group Head of Sport, RTÉ said: “Cricket Ireland’s long journey to Test status reaches a fitting conclusion with a first ever Test Match at home against Pakistan and it is appropriate that the national broadcaster should be there to bring highlights of this historic occasion to Irish viewers free-to-air.
“RTÉ Sport will also have highlights of both of Ireland’s home T20 Internationals versus India. It’s a fantastic start to the new chapter in Irish Cricket and RTÉ Sport are delighted to bring these games to the Irish audience.”
In further news, ITW Consulting will deliver all broadcast production and have secured advertising revenue through in-ground advertising rights during the matches.
The Indian-based company have an extensive catalogue of cricket work, which has included managing and broadcasting the recent Nidahas Cup in Sri Lanka, managing the recent Pakistan Super League and working with a number of cricket boards such as Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
“ITW is pleased to be associated with Cricket Ireland. Our innovative on-ground technologies and sales expertise help global brands build strong and strategic engagement, and we believe we can bring this expertise to the benefit of Irish cricket,” said Bhairav Shanth, co-founder of ITW Consulting. “Instilling innovation as a core of our business has enabled us to succeed in supporting various cricket boards and many global brands. Additionally, our independent broadcast production vertical TSG-innovate - with its proven success in past - will help enhance optimum broadcasting quality to global viewers.”
Tickets for the Test Match and T20I series are available now through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.ie.