Free to Air in England by Channel 4 (4 test ind vs Eng)

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Free to Air in England by Channel 4 (4 test ind vs Eng)

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Channel 4 clinches exclusive free-to-air rights for Test series

February 03 2021

The last time Channel 4 showed Test cricket was the 2005 Ashes

English cricket fans will get to see India-England Test series free of cost. With the first match of the series just a day away, Star India has finally got a buyer in UK -- a terrestrial channel - Channel 4.

After weeks and days of negotiations, the free-to-air terrestrial broadcaster in England, has signed up with Star for the four-Test series.

"Channel 4 will show exclusive free to air live television coverage of England's Test series against India," said a statement from C4.

"Starting with the opening Test from Chennai on Friday, ball by ball coverage of all four Tests will be shown live on Channel 4 and All 4. And for viewers who can't manage the early 4 am (GMT) start, highlights will be available on All 4. This will be the first time live Test cricket will be on free to air television since Channel 4 showed England's historic Ashes win in 2005."

Star India, the global rights holder of all India international cricket at home, has accepted the deal, although the price has not been disclosed -- it is believed to be a little less than Star would have wanted - they will also be looking to sell the rights of white ball games - five T20Is and 3 ODIs. Star was well known to be demanding 20 million pounds for the exclusive rights. It has already sold the radio rights to talkSPORT. After a fierce bidding war with BBC, Rupert Murdoch's radio station had bagged the rights.

While talks with Star are on, Channel 4 has started contacting commentators for the series. Former England captains Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook have reportedly been gotten in touch with by the C4 Sports team.

Channel 4's Head of Sport Pete Andrews said: "We're delighted to be showing live Test cricket on Channel 4 again and given the recent performances of both sides this series is poised to be a cracker. We're absolutely thrilled to have struck this deal with Star Sports."

Meanwhile, of the eight commentators the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signed up with for the world feed of the four Tests, two commentators have been offered contracts only for the first two Tests. The rest have been taken for all four Tests.

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