Whisper secures highlights production contracts with BBC Sport and the ECB

Whisper will produce quick turnaround highlights of England’s upcoming Test cricket series with West Indies for the BBC, and online clips and highlights packages for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the London-based independent producer has confirmed.

The BBC deal will see Whisper deliver a daily peak-time highlights show from this Wednesday (8 July) when the first test starts at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. That work is part of a multi-year contract that includes TV highlights for domestic Test matches, ODI matches and T20 internationals.

Separately, Whisper will also deliver a range of highlights and clips for the ECB throughout 2020. This includes all Tests, ODIs and T20 internationals across both men and women’s international teams. That content will be made available online via the ECB’s various digital platforms.

Led by Rob Williams, who produced last year’s Cricket World Cup final, Whisper’s cricket production team will also include Mark Cole and Sunil Patel, who were involved in the BBC’s cricket coverage from 1999 to 2009.

They will sit alongside production executive Sarah Warnock, who has previously worked on major International Cricket Council (ICC) events and senior production executive Anne Somerset. Digital and multi-platform strategy will be managed by Chris Hurst.

“There are many cricket fans within Whisper and the team is full of ideas of how we can work on our new cricket projects to showcase the sport and attract new audiences.”

Highlights from every Test and One Day International this summer will be shown on BBC2, marking the first time Test match cricket has been broadcast on BBC TV in over twenty years.

For the BBC output, Whisper has been tasked with “maximising the reach and impact of cricket” and asked to help the corporation to “take the sport to new audiences and encourage more people to pick up a bat and ball.”

Commenting on the BBC contract, Whisper chief executive Sunil Patel said: “It’s such an incredible opportunity to work on cricket for the BBC and everyone at Whisper is really motivated to deliver in the ambitious way that we approach all our projects.

“The sport seems to be enjoying a resurgence after England’s dramatic victory in last year’s Cricket World Cup and it’s great seeing the positive influence that sport can generate. There are many cricket fans within Whisper and the team is full of ideas of how we can work on our new cricket projects to showcase the sport and attract new audiences.”

For the ECB, Whisper will also be tasked with growing audiences, this time using social media.

ECB senior creative manager Jimmy Lee said: “We are really excited to be partnering with Whisper, who are bringing great energy and innovation to the industry at this time. I can’t wait to deliver the forthcoming international cricket season with Sunil, Mark and the rest of the team, who share our ambition to raise the game for sports storytelling in the digital space.”

Mark Cole, Whisper MD said: “Our team has a huge passion for cricket and strong ideas around using social platforms to grow audiences. The future partnership will allow us to continue to support the women’s game and appeal to diverse audiences across the country.

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