The latest rights acquisition is likely to increase the complaints about the existence of BT Sport, but on the other hand after a couple of decades of Sky dominance there is now competition in the sports rights arena, those increasing the revenue stream for various sports.
BT Sport is delighted to be adding international cricket to its line-up, and to be the new home of the next Ashes tour in Australia. We will show live domestic games featuring the best players in the world during the Big Bash League and all Australian home matches for the next five years.Delia Bushell, Managing Director of BT TV and BT Sport
While the headlines are about the live rights for the 2017/18 Australia vs England Ashes, they also have the rights to 35 KFC Big Bash League matches and Australian Test Matches, One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals played in Australia. There will also be a free-to-air rights set of daily highlights for international matches.
The rights package is reported to have cost some £80m which BT Retail will be hoping to recoup from the ongoing sale of BT Sport packages to pubs and clubs, in addition to the sale of HD and UHD premium packages to BT Broadband customers, as well as the wholesale agreements with operators like Virgin Media.