British cricket enthusiasts may experience a lack of coverage for the India vs England match due to unsettled negotiations for a TV broadcasting contract.
There is a chance that cricket enthusiasts may not be able to watch England’s Test series against India on UK television, as the location has not been confirmed with less than three weeks until the first game begins.
The five-match tour, between the teams ranked second and third in the world, is a marquee event in the Test calendar but no deal has been agreed with the opening game in Hyderabad starting on 25 January. TalkSPORT holds the radio rights.
India continues to be the most financially rewarding market for the sport, however, negotiations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India have often been down to the last minute as rights distributors strive to recover significant initial investments.
In 2021, during England’s previous Test series tour, a comparable scenario occurred which resulted in a last-minute attempt by Channel 4 to enter the market unexpectedly.
The previous interest of the terrestrial broadcaster was driven by the demand for live sports from a captive audience during the coronavirus lockdowns. However, this year, with Channel 4’s focus on coverage of the Paralympics, there is no intention to make a similar move.
Sky Sports and TNT are the remaining options for broadcasting. Sky has historically been the primary channel for all England tours from 1990 to 2017 and is well-equipped to take over on short notice. TNT also has experience in this area, having previously been known as BT Sport.
Games beginning at 4am and finishing before noon may not be considered the most optimal time, but England is actively working to improve the excitement and reputation of Test matches, led by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. It is highly unlikely that the England and Wales Cricket Board would not make an effort to facilitate discussions. PA Media has reached out to the governing body for a statement.
The England team will travel to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday for a camp focused on building team cohesion and training.