Back in the day, ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” (1961–1998) boasted that it spanned the globe to bring U.S. audiences a constant variety of sport, but its viewers weren’t likely to witness the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat one experiences in a cricket match. But, now, thanks to the wonders of streaming video, Americans are getting increasing exposure to the sport.
Last year, ESPN offered all 49 matches of the ICC World Cup for $100 as part of its “ESPN Cricket 2015” streaming package, but did not extend coverage of the tournament to its linear TV channels.
This year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) action moves to Willow TV International, which will be offering expats from Britain and its colonies and sports-obsessed Anglophiles in the U.S. and Canada the opportunity to witness every bump ball and yorker of ICC’s tournaments, beginning with the ICC World Twenty20, which kicks off in India on March 8.
All 35 matches from the men’s tournament and 11 matches from the women’s tournament of the ICC World Twenty20 will be televised live on the Willow TV’s linear TV channel as well as through the Palo Alto, Ca.-based company’s TV everywhere platform. The tournament will run through April 3.
Priced at $14.99 a month, Willow TV’s streaming service is available on the web at www.willow.tv and via apps for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices and Apple TV, Roku, Samsung TV, LG Smart TV, Panasonic Viera Connect TV, Neo TV, PS3 and Google TV.
Future ICC events scheduled to be covered by Willow TV include the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup, the 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, the 2018 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.