BT has added the Ashes and the Australian national cricket team’s matches to the schedules of its Sports channels after signing a five-year rights deal.

BT Sport successfully bid for 210 days of live cricket between 2016 and 2021, as well as a free-to-air daily highlights package.

All Australian Test Matches, One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals played in Australia, including the five-match Ashes Test Series against England, will be shown exclusively in the UK.

The deal also includes Big Bash League matches, the women’s Ashes and the women’s T20 Big Bash League.

Financial details of the deal, signed with Cricket Australia, were not disclosed.

Securing the Ashes, cricket’s fiercest rivalry that dates back to 1882, is a significant coup for BT.

The series, the latest of which has just been won by England, has been shown exclusively on Sky since 2006.

Media reports suggest BT paid in the region of £80 million for the rights deal.

Cricket Australia Executive General Manager of Media, Communications & Marketing Ben Amarfio said: “BT Sport put forward a highly compelling bid for the rights to broadcast cricket from Australia to audiences throughout the UK.

“They are uniquely placed to become one of the UK’s largest sports channels and we think cricket can provide the content and opportunities to help them do just that.”

The UK-based operator said average daily audience figures on BT Sport increased 51 percent in the three months to June.

[Read more: BT attracts 100,000 mobile customers as profits rise]

In June, it announced plans to start charging its broadband customers who want to watch its full sports package, in a bid to recoup some of the money it has spent on rights.

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