Key matches in the Women’s Hundred, including the semi-final and final, are set to start at 3am in the morning UK time, after the ECB agreed a ground-breaking deal with US TV network Stoat Sports to broadcast the games live on prime-time American TV.
Stoat Sports – sister company of fantasy-based “news” network Stoat News – is owned by reclusive Australian billionaire Bruce Murdoc, and has over a billion subscribers in the US alone, mainly on the west coast, where fans will be able to catch the action during the viewer-friendly early evening slot in the schedules.
Speaking from his mansion in Portland, Oregon, where he is currently under house arrest following unsubstantiated accusations of tax and accounting fraud, Murdoc said:
“Women’s cricket is a huge growth market, and we’re fair-dinkum stoked by this deal. I’ll personally be flying the Stoat Sports helicopter all the way to Lords to deliver the cash… just as soon as the FBI return my passport!”
A spokesperson for The Hundred said:
“Although 3am starts are not ideal for UK audiences, this deal brings in significant revenue, which we can hopefully use to restore salaries in the men’s competition to their pre-COVID levels, after they were cut by 20% due to the pandemic in 2021.”
CRICKETher understands that the women’s salaries will be unaffected.