Cricket: Facebook wins ICC’s digital content rights for subcontinent

Stickers bearing the Facebook logo are pictured at Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Facebook will have exclusive digital content rights for International Cricket Council (ICC) events in the Indian subcontinent till 2023, the world governing body of the sport said on Thursday.

The deal will include the next two men’s World Twenty20 events in 2020 and 2022, the 50-over World Cup in 2023 and the World Test Championship final in 2023.

The social media giant will carry a range of digital content across four years including match recaps, in-play key moments and other match and feature content on its various platform.

“We are delighted to welcome Facebook to the global cricket family for this multi-year, multi-market partnership which is a first for our sport,” ICC CEO Manu Sawhney said in a statement.

“The combination of one of the world’s most watched sports with one of the world’s largest platforms is exciting for the future of our game.

The record-breaking growth in digital consumption at this summer’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup demonstrated the continued power of cricket to connect and engage more deeply with diverse audiences around the world.”

The ICC last month said the men’s 50-over World Cup in England witnessed 4.6 billion video views across its digital and social media platform with the hosts going on to win the tournament after a nailbiting final.

Cricket is the most popular game in the densely populated Indian subcontinent and presents a huge market for Facebook, which began venturing into sports streaming in 2017 by broadcasting weekly Major League Baseball games.

Facebook counts India as its largest market by users and last year announced a deal with Spain’s top flight soccer league which will allow viewers in the Indian subcontinent to watch every game for free on the social network for three years.

“With Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the ICC has an exceptional opportunity to leverage our family of apps to serve current sports fans as well as bring in an entirely new generation of fans,” said Ajit Mohan, the VP and Managing Director of Facebook India.



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