sky buys exclusive access to south africa home games
Johannesburg, Sept 20: BSkyB has bought television rights to South Africa's home cricket internationals and domestic Twenty20 competition for the next eight years.
Despite recent problems within Cricket South Africa, which suspended its chief executive in March because of his hidden bonus payments, the British broadcaster agreed to a deal with CSA on Wednesday until 2020 to televise the games exclusively in Britain and Ireland.
The agreement covers two England tours -- in 2015 and 2019 -- as well as trips by Australia, India and Pakistan, among others.
Sky also said Wednesday that it had finalized long-term agreements with the Australian and Indian cricket bodies for matches in those countries for the next four to six years.
The four-year deal with Cricket Australia includes next year's Ashes series and South Africa's visit later in 2012, as well as coverage of the Aussie Twenty20 Big Bash League.
In India, Sky's six-year deal encompasses tours involving England, Australia and South Africa.
South Africa last month toppled England as the top-ranked test team in the world despite the administrative problems back home.
The Proteas are also level with England at the top of the one-day standings, and have recently enjoyed a run of success in all formats under coach Gary Kirsten.
South Africa is second to England in cricket's shortest format and one of the favorites to win the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Its domestic T20 league has attracted foreign players, including former England batsman Owais Shah, who plays for the Cape Town-based Cape Cobras.
Sky and CSA didn't reveal how much the agreement was worth but CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul said it will give South African cricket the "financial muscle" to continue its development programs.
CSA was criticized for not doing enough to help young cricketers in a recent report that was prompted by the long-running bonus scandal.
Wednesday's announcements followed television deals struck by CSA in Asia and North America, as the federation attempts to limit the damage resulting from the suspension of Gerald Majola for bonuses he paid himself and didn't properly declare to his organization.
Resulting internal feuds led to the resignation of at least three officials -- including the president and then acting president -- and ensured South Africa struggled to attract sponsors for its national team despite consistently being among the best in the world.
CSA said its next two series against England would be contested over four tests.
The Proteas last month won 2-0 in a three-test series to decide the world's No. 1 team.
Sky said it had now concluded 16 "major rights renewals" in the past 18 months.