Creating a dedicated channel on the Apple TV network which will show news packages, historic matches, highlights and player interviews, the content’s going to be produced in a collaboration between Cricket Australia and Nine Entertainment Co.
This marks the first deal of its kind with an Australia sport, content provider or media company, with Cricket Australia and Nine planning to generate revenue and profit through channel advertising, streaming it via the internet to those televisions who use the Apple TV device.
Coming to consumers in high definition, both Nine’s international matches and Network Ten’s Big Bash League domestic Twenty20 competition will also be shown in standard definition.
Archives of famous players and matches are to be implemented including interviews with big stars that include Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne. Tutorial videos from the likes of Shaun Marsh and George Bailey are also included.
Cricket Australia executive general manager of media Ben Amarfio commented: “This latest innovation demonstrates our dedication to bringing fans closer to the cricket action via any platform and thus expanding and enhancing their digital cricket experience.”
No pay or charge is to come from Apple or Cricket Australia for the service, and the sport hopes it’s going to act as a way for fans to catch up with matches they weren’t able to watch live.
Cricket Australia’s digital joint venture with nine is part of a huge $550 million cash and contra broadcast rights agreement signed in 2013 with Nine and Ten, and this new deal with Apple could be a precursor to the future of selling subscriptions to the cricket service in future broadcast deals such as this one.
The service is hoping to take under two hours to bring highlights of Test matches to the service following the end of play, with One-day and Twenty20 matches to be shown around 30 minutes following their conclusion.
The beginning of this summer saw Cricket Australia overhaul their digital strategy, and Nielsen ratings showed that in December it was indeed Australia’s leading sports website.
“This latest innovation demonstrates our dedication to bringing fans closer to the cricket action via any platform and thus expanding and enhancing their digital cricket experience” the service said at the time.
Apple meanwhile will be hoping that in the short term they can boost Apple TV sales, with their consoles selling for around $100 and close to a million consumers already using the service.
It allows viewers to stream music, movies, video and television to their home screens, with news and information brands including The Wall Street Journal, YouTube and Vimeo also available.