Cricket South Africa (CSA) has signed a long-term deal with Times Internet Ltd owned Willow TV. The deal will allow cricket fans from the USA, Canada, and Mexico to watch the Proteas Men’s and Women’s cricket teams.
The key commercial terms set out in the agreement include broadcasting all the Proteas international men’s and women’s cricket for four seasons between 2020 and 2024 through television or digital transmission.
The deal was finally sealed after months of negotiation between both parties. Times Internet is one of the biggest broadcasters in the UK. They acquired US-based cricket broadcaster Willow TV five years ago.
Todd Myers, Head of TV SVP Operations at Willow TV, said, “Willow TV’s goal is to serve cricket fans in the U.S. and Canada with the best cricket from around the globe. Our continued relationship with Cricket South Africa allows us to do just that by showcasing CSA’s world-class players and competitions exclusively across all of Willow TV’s platforms.”
The step of stretching broadcast across North America will allow South Africans living abroad to watch live games of Proteas. It will also introduce cricket to new viewers in these countries, a decision which was lauded by CSA’s acting CEO Kugandrie Govender.
Kugandrie Govender, Acting Chief Executive of CSA, said, “We are thrilled about this four-year partnership with Willow TV and excited to showcase the cream of our cricketing talent to North American cricket fans. This is an important milestone not only for Cricket South Africa but also a victory for our players, who will gain added exposure internationally.”
Having partnered with the pay-TV channel from 2012 to April 2020, Willow TV remains devoted to airing international cricket events including live and recorded matches and other cricket-related programmes.
The deal must have come as a sign of relief for the Cricket South Africa. The cricket board has been marred with corruption scandals and financial crisis in the past few months. Most recently, all members of the board had resigned from their position. The new members have taken over these positions with immediate effect.