Global rights holders Star Sports, have accepted a bid from Channel 4 for the broadcast of England’s Test series against India, which is set to begin this Friday.
Channel 4 have won the broadcasting rights to show England’s cricket series against India. It is the first time that test cricket will be broadcast on free-to-air television in the UK since the 2005 ashes.
The terrestrial television channel had little competition in their bid for rights, with neither Sky Sports or BT Sports even registering a bid. It has been reported that Channel 4 were able to secure the deal for a fraction of £20million asking price that Star Sports had originally hoped for.
As part of the deal, Channel 4 will have the rights to broadcast England’s tour of India that as well as four test matches, includes five T20 internationals, and three one day internationals.
When Channel 4 last broadcast Test cricket in 2005, they attracted a peak viewing of 8.4 million people. In 2019, in a one-off deal with Sky to share to the 2019 World Cup Final, it is estimated that over 15.4 million tuned in over the course of the day.
England's first match against India is set to take place between Friday 5th February and Tuesday 9th February in Chennai, starting at 4am GMT.
Author: Fred Dobberson