New Delhi: Sony Pictures Networks India has acquired from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) exclusive media rights for the Indian subcontinent for a period of five years starting in 2018 through 2022, it was announced on Monday. This agreement with ECB gives SPN the rights to both televise and digitally broadcast within the Indian subcontinent, men’s and women’s international matches, including Test matches, T20 Internationals and ODIs, played in England, according to a release. Also Read - Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar Among Indian Cricketers Named For T10 Cricket League

Key viewership highlights of the 2018-2022 term of scheduled ECB games includes around 80 international men’s and women’s matches. Also Read - Zee Entertainment Q2 down 38.2% to Rs 386.10 crore

Sony’s big catch will be India’s tour of England this summer which includes five Test matches, three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.Real-time and live match viewership will be available in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, apart from India Also Read - Sri Lanka Cricket Calls for Police Probe on Controversial E-Mail

With this acquisition, SPN’s exclusive cricket portfolio includes most of the major international cricket boards, namely, Cricket Australia, ECB, Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket, Cricket South Africa, Cricket West Indies and Zimbabwe Cricket Board.

N.P. Singh, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SPN, said: “The acquisition of media rights of ECB for a five-year term, effective now through 2022, provides for some exciting cricket viewership. Cricket is a passion for most Indians and this term of ECB games includes three tours of the Indian cricket team which promises some thrilling cricket, the first of these coming close on the heels of the hugely exciting South Africa series.

“We remain committed to building a multi-sports culture in India and we will lead sports broadcast action during June to September 2018 by airing FIFA for football fans and ECB games for cricket lovers.”

ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “Today’s announcement means millions of cricket fans across the Indian subcontinent can follow their favourite team in action the next time they tour England — as well as enjoying access to iconic cricketing contests like next year’s Ashes.”

“It will also help further raise the global profile of the English game — giving both the England men’s and women’s teams valuable exposure in a part of the world where people are passionate about cricket and avid followers of the global game as well as their own national team.”