The 2019 Ashes Schedule has just announced last night, what now for Channel 9’s commentary team for this tour after losing the home cricket rights?

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Last night, the England & Wales Cricket Board released their 2019 Test Match schedule.

It’s going to be those moments where Steve Smith & David Warner return to the red-ball game for the first time after serving their suspensions.

2019 Ashes Schedule

  • 1st Test: Thursday 1- Monday 5 August at Edgbaston
  • 2nd Test: Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 August at Lord’s
  • 3rd Test: Thursday 22 – Monday 26 August at Headingley
  • 4th Test: Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 September at Old Trafford
  • 5th Test: Thursday 12 – Monday 16 September at The Oval

Channel 9’s 2019 Ashes broadcasting plans (predicted).

Since they lost the home cricket rights three months ago, only two of their members defected to one new broadcasting rights holder to another:

  • Shane Warne, FOX Sports
  • Michael Slater, Channel 7

While some others went on to stay at the network for several years:

  • Bill Lawry, lifetime deal & Retired
  • Ian Chappell, lifetime deal
  • Mark Taylor, new three-year deal

Shane Warne’s contract with FOX is a cricket-only deal, so it’s not exclusive.

That means Warne can commentate for Sky Sports’ Ashes 2019 coverage in the UK.

Plus he’s up for a sensational return to Nine for some possible feature interviews during the Tennis.

But it’s more likely that his cricket brain belongs to Sky Sports & FOX for now & the next few years.

The same say for Michael Slater as he’s tied to Seven for the next six years.

What will their 2019 Ashes commentary team look like?

It depends whether FOX or 7 will take Mark Nicholas, Ian Healy or Michael Clarke?

There’s still a hosting spot at FOX up for grabs so they might take Mark Nicholas to their new coverage.

Steve Crawley who now their Head of Sport, first took Nicholas 15 years ago by swapping the cold English winter to front their Australian summer of cricket.

He has done quite a bit of shopping few Englishmen at recent times with Isa Guha & Michael Vaughan onboard.

It’s hard to say whether it will happen or not as Winter comes to a close next month.

For now, check my suggestion article about why FOX should hire him via the link here.

What happens if Mark Nicholas doesn’t join FOX?

If not, then Nicholas will likely be the frontman & commentator for Nine’s next year’s Ashes Tour in England.

It’s a shame for some fans who will miss his on-air ability & expertise.

But it’s a new era for both FOX & Seven when it comes to their choice of on-air talent.

They prefer a diverse range of young, female & new faces for the next six years.

And Nicholas seems to be the odd-man out.

Who will join alongside Nicholas or a new front man?

Ian Healy will most likely stay with Nine alongside Mark Taylor & Ian Chappell.

And rounding out the six-man commentary team will be Michael Clarke & Kevin Pietersen.

The entire Australian cricketing public thinks they can bash these two on social media whatever they like.

But Clarke & Pietersen have one of the best analytical batting brains around from their playing experiences.

If you want to learn how to get the best out of batting, then look no further when you listen to Pietersen & Clarke.

If not, that’s okay.

Just say nothing and look elsewhere.

What happens if Nine don’t send a dedicated commentary team?

Nine will probably pay a small fee and only take the Sky Sports Feed & Commentary team.

With not much on-air cricket talent, Mark Taylor is a great contender to host the coverage.

Ian Healy & Ian Chappell will pop up alongside him in the studio.

Conclusion

Once the 50-Over World Cup ticked off, it seems that the 2019 Ashes Tour looks like Nine’s final red-ball cricket coverage.

Then you have the World Twenty20 in two years time which is the final event that Nine covers as part of their contract with the ICC.

Luckily the last three deals still in place allow Nine to stream specific matches on 9Now’s live streaming app.

They badly needed to commercialize their advertising & content revenue beyond the traditional TV platform.

But Nine will not always blow up cash & then lose money by persisting their rights to air test matches.

Therefore, Nine chose to look elsewhere and struck gold in a full cross-platform deal with Tennis Australia.

All the best to Channel 9 on covering the Australian Open Tennis.

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