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Channel 5 strikes deal for live Big Bash League coverage

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 5 has agreed a deal to show live coverage of Australia’s Big Bash League Twenty20 cricket competition, according to The Times.

Under the sublicensing deal with UK pay-television broadcaster BT Sport, Channel 5 will show the first of five live matches during the 2016-17 campaign on December 26 when the Hobart Hurricanes take on the Melbourne Stars.

The tournament begins tomorrow (Tuesday) and BT Sport will show live coverage of all 35 games during the tournament.

Channel 5, which is understood to have paid a six-figure rights fee, will also show highlights of January’s final.

Live cricket has not featured on mainstream terrestrial television in the UK since commercial broadcaster Channel 4 showed coverage of the fifth Test of the 2005 Ashes series between England and Australia.