Bangladesh Tests to have limited coverage on pay-TV
CRICKET fans will get to watch Australia battle it out in Bangladesh, after a potential blackout was saved by an 11th hour TV deal.
The game's ugly pay dispute played a major role in pushing negotiations right down to the wire but just a week before the first Test in Dhaka, Fox Sports has secured the rights for the series.
It's a major boost for a game battling to recapture the support and faith of the sporting public after the damage caused by months of infighting.
Australia's tour of India earlier this year captivated audiences and the Bangladesh series has similar potential, with the final session of each day's play to be beamed into lounge rooms in prime time on Fox Sports and also available on Foxtel Now.
"This is a great outcome for cricket lovers," Fox Sports CEO, Patrick Delany, said.
"There will be plenty of interest around these two Tests and it's fantastic we have reached an agreement so Foxtel subscribers can watch live on Fox Sports.
"We know there is only a week until the first test but with Foxtel Now, fans can sign up and be streaming the action live within minutes - it's the perfect excuse to try."
Fox Sports is suddenly shaping as a major player in cricket's next TV rights deal, with current Big Bash rights holder Channel Ten clouded in uncertainty and Nine and Seven publicly declaring that they can no longer afford to pay over the odds to broadcast big time sport.
It's understood Cricket Australia is interested in exploring the idea of a cricket-only channel on Fox Sports to mirror the coverage of Fox Footy and Fox League.
The coming Ashes and Big Bash season is the final summer in the current TV deal, and mystery surrounds how the landscape might look for the next broadcasting agreement.
Nine wants the BBL, but experts believe Fox is likely to get a slice of top-line cricket content.
Coverage will begin at 2pm each day, with the First Test starting on August 27 and the second on September 4.