HomeNewsCricketUnited Kingdom

Channel 4 close to free-to-air Cricket World Cup highlights deal in UK – report

UK free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 is reportedly close to reaching a deal to show highlights of this year’s Cricket World Cup.

The deal is expected to be announced next week in a sub-licencing agreement with CWC international rights holder Star and UK rights-holder Sky, according to the Times newspaper.

Under the agreement, Channel 4 will show highlights of all England’s matches, both semi-finals and the tournament’s final. The package is expected to be produced by Sunset & Vine, which worked with Channel 4 when it last broadcast cricket in 2005.

Sunset & Vine currently produces UK commercial broadcaster Channel 5’s highlights packages for England’s national cricket team.

Public broadcaster the BBC will also provide some coverage of the tournament through in-game clips on its website. The BBC did not bid for the free-to-air highlights package because of scheduling difficulties given short notice, according to the report.

ESPN holds the rights to broadcast online highlights packages in the UK and Ireland for the tournament.

The CWC 2019 will take place in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14. England faces South Africa in the opening match.

It will be the first CWC to have highlights available on UK free-to-air television since 2011.

Most recent

Match-choice restrictions placed by Spain’s LaLiga on the free-to-air package in its UK and Ireland rights tenders for the 2019-22 cycle may limit interest from broadcasters, according to industry experts spoken to by SportBusiness Media.

Pay-television broadcaster BT Sport took advantage of Sky’s long-running concerns over wrestling body WWE’s OTT service to grab WWE rights in the UK and Ireland from its rival at a steep discount, SportBusiness Media understands.

As TikTok has grown into one of the world's most popular social-media apps during the past year, the short-form video-sharing platform has become an important tool for sports rights-holders to expand and engage their fanbases. 

Turkish agency Saran has negotiated a price reduction for rights to the English Premier League for the 2019-22 cycle, SportBusiness Media understands, the first time it has achieved this since acquiring the property at the turn of the decade.