Australia’s T20 World Cup free-to-air TV guide

When Australia take the field against New Zealand in their T20 World Cup opener on Saturday night, it will mark the end of a 1715 day absence from free-to-air television for the national men’s T20 team.

The Nine Network holds Australian free-to-air (FTA) broadcast rights for some ICC events like this year’s tournament in Australia, and for the next ODI World Cup to be played in a year’s time in India. 

Nine will broadcast 14 games from the T20 World Cup over the next three weeks, including all five of Australia’s Super 12 games, both semi-finals and the final at the MCG on November 13.

Additionally, the network will show six other Super 12 matches not featuring Australia, including the blockbuster India v Pakistan clash on Sunday, as well as India’s clash with South Africa and the yet-to-be determined Group B winner. 

New Zealand will be on FTA television three times, against Afghanistan and England as well as their clash with Australia. England’s clash with Afghanistan in Perth will also be FTA.

It was on Nine back in February 2018 when an Australian side, with D’Arcy Short opening, Chris Lynn at No.3 and Aaron Finch in the middle order, completed a comprehensive seven-wicket hiding of England with 33 balls to spare.

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It was the last time the team played a T20 international on FTA television following a $1.2 billion broadcast rights deal in April 2018 that saw men’s limited-overs internationals move behind a paywall, exclusive to Fox Cricket and Kayo subscribers. 

That Australian broadcast rights deal is up for renewal in mid-2024, and Cricket Australia confirmed at its AGM last week that it had already begun negotiations with broadcasters and was “clearly focused on delivering maximum possible value from that deal” for the administration.

CA chair Lachlan Henderson recently said he believed cricket’s media rights were “undervalued”.

At the same time, the ICC is in market for a renewal of its Australian broadcast rights for its events from 2024 in either a four- or eight-year package.

The ICC’s invitation to tender allows broadcasters to bid separately for men’s and women’s events, with television and digital rights packaged together.

Nine and Foxtel have been in a joint-venture arrangement to share broadcast rights for ICC events since 2008.

Under that arrangement, Nine has rights to all Australian and select other matches for World Cup events, satisfying the requirements of Australia’s anti-siphoning list, while Fox Cricket and Kayo broadcast every game and have exclusive rights to second-tier ICC events such as the Champions Trophy and U19 World Cups. 

Foxtel has also had exclusive rights to women’s World Cup events, with the exception of the 2020 T20 World Cup played in Australia which required a FTA broadcaster under the anti-siphoning legislation.

Amid backlash that there was no FTA broadcaster of this year’s women’s ODI World Cup played in New Zealand, News Corp provided free access to the tournament via ‘Kayo Freebies’.

While the T20 team hasn’t been seen on Australian FTA TV since early 2018, it’s been 2019 since the ODI side was last seen in front of a paywall when Nine broadcast Australia’s matches at the 2019 World Cup in England.

Australia’s men’s T20 team have played 72 internationals since last sighted on FTA, 23 of them at home and exclusively on Fox and Kayo, with another seven in last year’s run to their maiden T20 World Cup crown.

Nine’s pre-game and innings-break coverage during this year’s tournament will be hosted by Roz Kelly, with former Australia captain and Nine commentary stalwart Mark Taylor. Callum Ferguson and Stephen O’Keefe will also feature on the network’s panel.

Matches will be broadcast across a combination of Channel 9 and 9Gem, as well as shown on 9Now. Check local guides for more detail.

Kayo offers a seven-day free trial for new subscribers that can be accessed here.

2022 T20 World Cup free-to-air TV guide

October 22: Australia v New Zealand followed by England v Afghanistan, from 6pm AEDT

October 23: India v Pakistan, 7pm AEDT

October 25: Australia v Sri Lanka, 10pm AEDT

October 26: New Zealand v Afghanistan, 7pm AEDT

October 28: Australia v England, 7pm AEDT

October 30: India v South Africa, 10pm AEDT

October 31: Australia v Group B runner-up, 7pm AEDT

November 1: England v New Zealand, 7pm AEDT

November 4: Australia v Afghanistan, 7pm AEDT

November 6: India v Group B winner, 7pm AEDT

November 9: Semi-final 1, 7pm AEDT

November 10: Semi-final 2, 7pm AEDT

November 13: Final, 7pm AEDT

Matches will be broadcast across a combination of Channel 9 and 9Gem, as well as shown on 9Now. Check local guides for more detail.

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