Women's ODI World Cup not to be on free-to-air broadcast in Australia, bias called out

After uproar from players like Alyssa Healy and fans of women's cricket, Fox has decided to put all the matches on the Kayo freebies pack which doesn't need any subscription fee.

Published: 23rd January 2022 12:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd January 2022 01:23 PM   |  A+A-

Australia's captain Meg Lanning (C) with teammates celebrate after beating India in the Twenty20 women's cricket World Cup final in Melbourne on March 8, 2020

Australia's captain Meg Lanning (C) with teammates celebrate after beating India in the Twenty20 women's cricket World Cup final in Melbourne on March 8, 2020. (File Photo | AFP)

By Online Desk

Earlier on Sunday, Nine Network in Australia has confirmed that it has secured the Australian free-to-air broadcast rights for the next two men's World Cup events.

But the women's ODI World Cup to be held in New Zealand in March will be exclusive to Foxtel and Kayo subscribers, with no free-to-air broadcast.

After it was confirmed that the women's ODI World Cup wouldn't be broadcast by Channel Nine, Australian women's cricket team wicketkeeper and batter Alyssa Healy expressed her disappointment.

Using the hashtag #BreakTheBias, Healy tweeted saying she would give away 20 kayo sports gift cards for viewers who would want to watch the women's sport in Australia.

In a win to Healy and women's cricket fans who made the noise, Fox has later decided that every match of the Women's World Cup will be streamed on Kayo Freebies, meaning the matches can be streamed on Kayo without having to pay any subscription fee. Free-to-air broadcast, however, will not be available to those who cannot stream the matches.

For all ICC tournaments, broadcasting companies in different countries are required to sub-license rights from the International Cricket Council's global broadcast right's partner, India's Star Sports. Foxtel, the company that has these rights in Australia, then sells them forward to meet the conditions of Australia's anti-siphoning legislation, which gives the country's free-to-air broadcaster the first right to negotiate.

The sub-license agreement between Foxtel and Channel Nine includes only the rights to the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 to be held in Australia and the Men's ODI World Cup 2023 to be held in India. It doesn't include the Women's ODI World Cup that is set to begin this March in New Zealand, according to a report.

Because of a previous agreement between Foxtel and Seven, last year's Men's T20 World Cup was also not broadcast on a free-to-air channel which was avoided this time.

This development is definitely a blow to the growing number of fans of women's cricket who have been on a high ever since the Women's T20 World Cup final in 2020 saw a record-breaking crowd of close to 90,000 spectators at the MCG.


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