Facebook is tying up with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stream cricket matches. The social network will exclusively show digital content from ICC tournaments hosted in the Indian sub-continent until 2023. Apart from this, it will also show post-match highlights from ICC events around the world.
ICC's Chief Executive Manu Sawhney stated on its website, "The ICC's focus on fan engagement, both in terms of deepening existing fan interaction with the sport and bringing new fans to the game has been driven by data and analytics. This enabled us to anticipate and respond to the demands of cricket's one billion-plus fans around the world and make this World Cup the most digitally consumed ever."
Facebook's VP and Managing Director, Ajit Mohan stated in a statement to TechCrunch, "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. Every day, people come to our platforms to talk about and form friendships around cricket. With this partnership, we will be able to serve these fans with the kind of premium content that can ignite new conversations, new connections, and new followership."
This is a huge deal since Facebook had previously bid $600 million for online streaming rights of the Indian Premier League – the biggest cricket league in the world. It lost that bid to Star India, which operates the streaming app Hotstar.
Cricket gets a huge number of views, particularly from the subcontinent – the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup garnered over 4.6 billion views.
Here's the list of events that Facebook will stream:
- ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020
- ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020
- ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021
- ICC World Test Championship Final 2021
- ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
- ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2022
- ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023
- ICC World Test Championship Final 2023
- ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019
- ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2022
- ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020
- ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022