Channel 4 ‘in discussions’ over broadcasting India vs England series


Channel 4 says it is still in discussions over purchasing the rights for England’s upcoming Test series after a tweet appeared to indicate an agreement had been reached.

A post on the Channel4Cricket account published on Tuesday morning said: “It’s time for” followed by a musical note emoji and a GIF of Lou Bega’s song ‘Mambo No. 5’, which was famously used in the channel’s cricket coverage during the 2005 Ashes series.

However, it is understood it is not an official Channel 4 account and it was later deleted.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We are still in discussions (over the India v England series) but nothing has been confirmed.”

The series gets under way on Friday.

Star Sports are the rights holders in India and are understood to have been holding out for a bumper deal that has not yet found a buyer.

The idea of the series being made available via Star’s subscription app ‘Hotstar’ or as part of the Disney+ streaming service, once considered potential routes to market, are not thought to be viable options.

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The domestic feed with local commentary is available but broadcasters can also choose to take the pictures only, adding their own punditry remotely.

This is the approach taken by Sky for the recent series against Sri Lanka, an experience which means it would be in a position to facilitate coverage at relatively short notice.

BT Sport won the rights for the last Ashes series Down Under and have no issues around clearing schedules, should they prove successful.

For now, England fans know they will be able to listen to the action on radio via talkSPORT.

PA

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