Australia viewers locked out of Ireland ODI

Fox Sports will not show the only ODI Australia play against Ireland on Tuesday Getty Images

Australia's ODI against Ireland in South Africa has been ignored by the pay television operator Fox Sports, leaving followers in Australia without a legal means by which to watch it.

The match, being played at Willowmoore Park in Benoni from 6pm Eastern Australian time, is being broadcast by SuperSport in South Africa, but was not purchased by Fox Sports as part of a rights package that features the five ODIs between South Africa and Australia that begin on September 30.

It is believed that the rights to the Ireland match were offered as a standalone proposition alongside the South Africa fixtures, with Fox choosing not to add it to their investment.

Ben Amarfio, CA's executive general manager, Media, Communications and Marketing, said he would have preferred to see the match broadcast. "Our preference would be for all of Australia's away matches to be broadcast in the Australian market," he said, "but ultimately that is the choice of rights purchasers to determine."

Very seldom is an international fixture played by an Australian side not broadcast back into Australia on Fox Sports. However, the network has in the recent past left it quite late in confirming their broadcast of matches.

The most recent example of this was the broadcast of England v Pakistan Test series earlier this year, which was left in doubt until a matter of hours before the series began at Lord's.

Fox Sports has just completed showing the first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur, and is also broadcasting the ongoing T20 series between Pakistan and West Indies in the UAE.

Cricket's relationship with the pay television operator was somewhat strained in 2013, when after Fox Sports broadcast the first two seasons of the Twenty20 Big Bash League, Cricket Australia sold the rights to the free-to-air Ten Network to dramatically expand the tournament's television audience. That decision led to a major scaling back of Fox Sports' cricket department to a small part of the business.

Cricket Australia, meanwhile, launched into a major digital partnership with Channel Nine in addition to the BBL deal with Ten.

A Fox Sports spokesperson declined to comment.