Social media giant Facebook has inked a partnership for exclusive digital content rights with the International Cricket Council (ICC) global events.
The partnership will allow social networking platform to deepen its engagement with users via match recaps, in-play key moments and feature content for four years.
The highlights will play on the social media platform on-demand video service Facebook Watch, which was launched two years ago.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said the partnership is good for the future of the game. In Facebook, we have a genuine partner who shares in our ambition to continue to grow and deepen engagement with cricket fans globally using its platforms, he said.
The development comes after ICC cricket world cup 2019 became one of the most-watched sports in the world. The last world cup recorded net around 4.6 billion video views on ICC’s digital as well as social media platforms.
The main events among the package include Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, ICC World Test Championship Final 2021 and U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 and 2022.
This is not the first time FB took an interest in bidding for the digital right for cricket. Earlier in 2017, the social media giant bid $600 million for online streaming rights for IPL, which was won by Star India.
In 2018, Star India acquired digital and TV rights to live-stream and broadcast all of Indian cricket team’s matches globally for a sum of $944 million.
Star India-owned Hotstar showcasing cricket set a new benchmark for online cricket viewing. Cricket is the most popular sports in India.
Facebook, which has over 240 Mn user-base in India, aims to leverage the opportunity to strengthen its relationship with users. It had roped in Hotstar former CEO Ajit Mohan in January to help it build deep and meaningful communities in India.
The future of AR and VR is being charted by Facebook and we are excited about the possibility of bringing the best of our innovations to fans around the world,” said Ajit Mohan, VP and Managing Director Facebook India.