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Sky live Cricket TV was the first broadcaster to show live coverage of a complete overseas tour involving England when they toured the West Indies in 1990. This was originally shown on Sky One. Since then Sky has acquired the rights to show home international series involving England, South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies at various times as well as showing almost every England overseas tour and ICC tournaments such as the Cricket World Cup, Champions Trophy and T20 World Cup. Sky also shows extensive coverage of county cricket, with over 60 live games each season involving every county in all competitions. The Kia Super League was added to Sky’s coverage of Women’s cricket in 2017 when it shows eight matches from the 2017 Women’s Cricket Super League.In 2018 Sky Sports won the rights off BT Sport to broadcast all 34 games of the Caribbean Premier League from the 2018 season which continued into the 2019 and 2020 seasons. In 2015 Sky Sports won exclusive UK rights to broadcast the Indian Premier League for 3 years taking the rights from then broadcaster, ITV4 and in 2018, these rights were renewed on a multi-year deal. Star Sports, the global distributor of IPL coverage then unexpectedly cut their contract for the 2019 season, however, these rights were reinstated from the 2020 season onwards.In 2020, while 2021 IPL season all 60 matches also shown on Sky, Sky won rights to show all games from the inaugural season of the Lanka Premier League. As of 2021, Sky Sports have agreements with Live Cricket South Africa and the Pakistan Cricket Board, to show live Tests, ODIs and T20Is from these countries. As part of the deal with the Pakistan Cricket Board, Sky won rights to show the Pakistan Super League for 3 years, until 2024. Having not won the rights to the Test series of England’s tour of India in 2021, Sky Sports gained the rights to the white ball series of this tour and subsequently, for the remainder of 2021, will broadcast all Indian home games.

Sky Sports Live TV first started broadcasting Home England Tests in 1999. In a joint deal with terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4, it began showing 1 home Test each summer plus one-day internationals (Channel 4 were the senior broadcast partner). This arrangement continued until 2006, when Sky Sports’ flagship live coverage of England’s home test series began. The previous year, it was announced by the ECB that it had awarded Sky exclusive coverage of all of England’s home tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 Internationals including the 2009 Ashes with highlights on Channel 5 produced by Sunset & Vine who produced Channel 4’s coverage. The ECB have since renewed Sky Sports’ deal until 2024 with BBC taking over the rights held by Channel 5 and picking up additional rights.The Fifth Test vs India at the Oval, (commencing 15 August 2014) was the 200th England Test shown live on Sky Sports.

Test cricket coverage is presented by Ian Ward alongside an illustrious commentary team of Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Rob Key, Nick Knight, David “Bumble” Lloyd, Michael Holding, Shane Warne, Ebony Rainford-Brent and occasionally, Sir Andrew Strauss. Ward himself also appears in the commentary box regularly. Michael Atherton usually conducts the post-match presentation after each game. Along with Sky’s team, a guest commentator from the touring side also contributes to the coverage. In recent series, these have included, Simon Doull (New Zealand), Ian Bishop (West Indies), Ricky Ponting (Australia) and Wasim Akram (Pakistan). Highlights are broadcast in a prime time slot each evening.

Ian Ward fronts all of England’s home ODI and T20 International games alongside commentators, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Rob Key, David Lloyd, Mark Butcher, Ebony Rainford-Brent and occasionally, Kevin Pietersen along with other international guest analysts from the touring side. Ward also contributes to commentary.

Overseas series involving England are presented from the London studio by Nick Knight alongside the likes of Mark Butcher, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Dominic Cork, Niall O’Brien and many other guests. Ian Ward, Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Rob Key or David Lloyd contribute to coverage from where England would be touring, as they would usually join the host broadcaster for these series.

Sky Sports also have international cricket rights to matches played in India, Pakistan and South Africa. The match coverage is taken from the host broadcasters from these countries.

Coverage of county cricket is presented by Nick Knight or Mark Butcher. Commentary comes from Rob Key, David Lloyd, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Charles Dagnall, Adam Collins, Dominic Cork, Niall O’Brien and Lydia Greenway, along with many other guest commentators. Knight and Butcher also contribute to commentary.

Coverage of Women’s cricket on Sky Sports is presented by Nick Knight, Mark Butcher or Mel Jones alongside commentators, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Lydia Greenway and Charlotte Edwards. Knight, Butcher and Jones, as well as Charles Dagnall and Adam Collins also contribute to commentary.

Sky Sports Live TV Cricket additional Cricket programming includes.

Rugby league:

The power of television over sport can perhaps be best portrayed by the change of rugby league from a winter sport to one played during the summer months under the banner of Super League. These changes caused great controversy when they were introduced in 1996, yet they have been seen as positive and as having an impact even greater than the broadcaster has had with football.

The sport is now seen as being in a healthy state with two or three live matches from the Super League every week fronted by Brian Carney who is joined in the studio by Terry O’ConnorPhil ClarkeBarrie McDermott or Stuart CummingsJon Wells provides analysis from the touchscreen regularly. Bill Arthur, Ben Proe or Stuart Pyke lead the commentary team alongside the summarisers, Terry O’Connor, Phil Clarke, Jon Wells, Barrie McDermott and Jodie Cunningham. Jenna Brooks and Fraiser Dainton are the pitch-side reporters.

Live Super League broadcasts routinely rank amongst the top 10 most watched programmes in a week on Sky Sports. Sky has sold rights to a highlights package of the Super League to BBC Sport, who air The Super League Show on Sunday nights/Afternoon in Northern regions, with a nationwide replay on Monday afternoon.

Beginning in 2012, Sky Sports airs Challenge Cup matches alongside the BBC: usually, they will air one match in the fourth and fifth rounds and two of the quarter-finals with highlights of the Semi-Finals and Finals which are exclusively live on the BBC.

Coverage of the Australia and New Zealand’s National Rugby League returned to Sky Sports in 2018 on a five-year contract. The deals includes selected matches from the Telstra Premiership plus the NRL Grand Final as well as the State of Origin seriesPacific TestsAuckland Nines and the All Stars Match.

Motorsport:

Sky Sports broadcasts major motorsport events. This includes:

Formula One:

Main article: Sky Sports F1

In July 2011, Sky Sports acquired joint rights to broadcast Formula One in the United Kingdom from 2012 until 2018. The deal included the rights to show all practice and qualifying sessions, in addition to the races. The joint broadcast rights were held by BBC but transferred to Channel 4 from the 2016 season. The shared nature of the contract initially meant that Sky Sports F1 showed all races live, with 10 races being shown by both Sky and Channel 4 (who were also televising highlights of all races on a delayed basis), however since the start of the 2019 season, sky have had exclusive rights to broadcast every race live except the British GP, which is both live on Sky and Channel 4, however channel 4 still show highlights of both qualifying and the race from every other GP. Whilst the initial announcement did prove controversial (with early promises that the races wouldn’t be uninterrupted by commercials doing little to quell the negative initial reaction from many fans and observers), in its first two years of broadcasting, the coverage has twice won F1 International Broadcaster of the Year from the FIA (in 2012 & 2013).

Sky Sports F1 currently broadcast the entire 2019 season in 4K Ultra-HD, on the Sky Q Silver Ultra-HD package.

Presentation team at Grands Prix:

  • Simon Lazenby hosts coverage with Martin BrundlePaul di RestaDamon HillJohnny HerbertKarun ChandhokNico RosbergJenson Button and Anthony Davidson as race weekend analysts across the season.
  • Paul Di Resta, Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok all serve as touchscreen analysts to the coverage.
  • David Croft provides commentary on practice sessions, qualifying and the race. During practice sessions, two of, Di Resta, Davidson, Herbert or Chandhok join Croft for co-commentary, while Brundle provides trackside analysis. For qualifying sessions and the race, Brundle is the primary co-commentator, but if unavailable for a race weekend, Di Resta or Davidson stand in as replacements, with Ted Kravitz or Karun Chandhok contributing from the pit lane depending on the race.
  • Ted Kravitz, Natalie Pinkham and Rachel Brookes report/present across the pit-lane and paddock and cover for Lazenby as host of some practice sessions.
  • Craig Slater reports on races for Sky Sports News.

Sky Sports’ additional F1 programming includes:

  • The F1 Show
  • Ted’s Notebook
  • Welcome to the Weekend
  • The Inside Line (not a Sky production)

Golf:

Golf is one of the most broadcast sports across the Sky Sports channels, with at least one tournament shown live in 50 weeks of the year. Sky Sports’ golf presenters include, Nick DoughertySarah StirkRob Lee and James Haddock. The expert analysts include Paul McGinleyRich BeemMark RoeDavid Howell and Tony Johnstone. The lead commentators include Ewen MurrayRichard Boxall and Richard Kaufman, as well as presenter, Rob Lee. The co-commentators include expert analysts, McGinley, Beem, Roe, Howell, Johnstone, and presenter, Nick Dougherty, as well as many other guests, with Wayne Riley and Andrew Coltart providing on-course commentary. Tim Barter and Sarah Stirk are the main interviewers on the golf coverage, with James Haddock reporting on majors for Sky Sports News. Sky Sports also use Golf Channel‘s commentary for broadcasts of the PGA Tour.

Major championships:

Sky Sports has exclusive UK rights for all 4 majors including the US OpenThe Open Championship, the PGA Championship and the Masters Tournament.[68]

Sky also broadcast major championships from the women’s tour and senior tour, including the Kraft Nabisco ChampionshipUS Women’s OpenSenior PGA ChampionshipSenior British Open Championship and US Senior Open.

Sky will use Golf Channel (another Comcast property) feeds for USGA championships.

World Golf Championships:

Since its inception in 1999, Sky Sports has broadcast the World Golf Championships exclusively live, with the exception of the 2001 WGC-American Express Championship, which was broadcast on the BBC. They usually present the broadcast on site, as they do for major championships and the Ryder Cup, reflecting their importance in the game as the next most important series of events after the majors.

PGA Tour:

Sky also have exclusive live UK rights to broadcast the PGA Tour including The Players Championship and PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup until 2022, as well as up to 7 events per year from the LPGA Tour.

European Tour:

Live Sky has rights to at least 32 events on the European Tour until 2022, including the Dubai World Championship and exclusive live coverage of the BMW PGA Championship with highlights only on the BBC.

Ryder Cup:

Sky Sports shows live coverage of the sport’s premier event, the Ryder Cup. Since 1995, they have held the exclusive live UK rights to the biennial team event between USA and Europe, broadcasting the event in its entirety for the first time at Oak Hill in 1995. The event was broadcast in High Definition for the first time in 2006 at the K Club in County Kildare Ireland. Since 1999 it has also offered interactive coverage with options including the American coverage, Highlights and course guides. Sky holds the rights until 2012, with BBC broadcasting evening highlights. In 2010, Sky broadcast the Ryder Cup in 3D, making it the first live event on Sky 3D, Europe’s first residential 3D channel.

They also broadcast all of the other major professional team events in the sport such as the Presidents CupSeve Trophy,Royal TrophyOmega Mission Hills World Cup and Solheim Cup.

In 2010, Sky Sports broadcast in excess of 150 tournaments from the men’s and women’s tours.

Darts:

Sky Sports covered some BDO tournaments during its inception, including the 1992 Winmau World Masters, which was previously broadcast on ITV. Since the creation of the World Darts Council in 1992, since renamed the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), formed when many of the leading darts players, including Phil TaylorEric BristowJohn Lowe and Dennis Priestleybroke away from the British Darts Organisation (BDO), the game’s then sole ruling body, Sky Sports has broadcast the new organisation’s main darts tournaments live, which currently includes the following. Between 1993 and 2007 Sky were the only regular UK broadcaster of PDC Darts (apart from the 1999 BDO v PDC showdown between Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld which was broadcast on ITV). However this changed in 2007 when ITV covered the PDC/BDO tournament the Grand Slam of Darts, this moved to Sky in 2011 however ITV continued to show the European Championship and Players Championship Finals, their coverage expanded in 2014 to cover the UK Open and the Masters.

Sky’s coverage includes the PDC World Darts Championship which it shows on a temporary channel Sky Sports Darts. The tournament has been broadcast live and in its entirety by Sky Sports in the UK since its inception. Since 2009 the tournament has been shot in High Definition (HD). The tournament has become more and more popular in recent years with the 2007 World Final achieving a viewing figure in excess of 1 million for the first time. Sky also shows the PDC World Cup of DartsPremier League Darts, the World Matchplay, the World Grand Prix, the Grand Slam of Darts and the PDC Under-21 World Championship (final only). Sky used to show the UK Open but since 2014 this has been shown on ITV.

Sky Sports has not covered any BDO darts since the split in darts.

Sky Sports darts coverage was initially presented by Jeff Stelling with Eric Bristow and commentary by John Gwynne and Dave Lanning while Sid Waddell joined Sky from the BBC in 1994. Dave Clark replaced Stelling in 2002 although covered some tournaments in 2001, Stuart Pyke joined the commentary team in 2003, Rod Harrington and Nigel Pearson joined in 2005, Rod Studd joined in 2008 and former BBC Darts commentators David Croft and John Part joined in 2013. David Croft only works for Sky Sports Darts on the PDC World Darts Championship and some weeks of the Premier League Darts and Stuart Pyke also works for ITV coverage of PDC darts.

 

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