Foxtel has launched Fox Cricket, Australia’s specialized channel for the sport at a gala in Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Tuesday evening.
The Australian pay-TV service provider’s initiative comes with its aim of promoting Channel 444, its 4K channel, and gaining more subscribers.
Foxtel is reported to have invested $1 billion (US$712 million) on an agreement with Cricket Australia to introduce Fox Cricket.
With brands allegedly paying between $1.7 million (US$1.2 million) to $2.4 million (US$1.7 million) on sponsorship packages, Fox Cricket will comprise in-application, TV, and digital coverages.
Multi-Channel Network’s chief executive officer, Mark Frain, said that sponsorships for Fox Cricket had been the quickest that he had seen in the history of the firm.
However, the fledgling sports channel will not play advertisements or commercial breaks during live matches despite the increasing number of sponsors.
Advertisements will only be aired during lunch and tea times. At the launch, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney announced the ad sponsors which include global brands like Toyota, McDonald’s, and Harvey Norman.
Lion Beer, Alinta Energy, and Bunnings have also indicated their interest to support Fox Cricket.
With round-the-clock coverages starting November up to March 2019, Fox Cricket will relay cricket matches on all formats of the game during the summer season in Australia.
The cricket games will start on November 4 between South Africa One Day International (ODI) against the Australian team. These will be held together with Twenty20, every men’s Test, ODI, and the Big Bash League.
Fox Cricket will also broadcast 23 Big Bash League games and the international cricket for women.
Selected games will air on Channel 444, the new 4K TV channel of Foxtel, which is available through its new iQ4 set-top box and a satellite link.
During the “summer of cricket,” Foxtel customers will get over 1,000 hours of live cricket match coverages.
Delaney noted that Foxtel would not merely air cricket games. Together with 13 new panel programs like “Cricket 360” which is hosted by Robert Craddock and Gerard Whately, Fox Cricket will “revolutionize” the sport, he said.