Live Test cricket to be shown on free-to-air in the UK for first time since 2005 as C4 picks up rights to England India series
Channel 4 will show exclusive free-to-air live television coverage of England’s Test cricket series against India after securing a rights deal with Star India.
Starting with the opening Test from Chennai on Friday (5 February 2021), ball-by-ball coverage of all four Tests will be shown live on Channel 4 and All 4. Highlights will also be made available on All 4.
This will be the first time live Test cricket has been on free-to-air television since Channel 4 showed England vs Australia in 2005.
Channel 4 chief content officer Ian Katz said: “This is fantastic news for all cricket fans in the UK. It’s been a long 16-year wait for the return of live Test cricket to free-to-air television but it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“What better antidote to the lockdown blues than an England Test series in sunny India.”
Channel 4’s head of sport Pete Andrews and Penny Mills, head of sports rights, led the broadcaster’s negotiations to secure the deal.
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.”
- First Test, 5-9 February, Chennai
- Second Test, 13-17 February, Chennai
- Third Test, 24-28 February, Ahmedabad
- Fourth Test, 4-8 March, Ahmedabad
Channel 4 will take the world feed pictures, sound and commentary with studio presentation produced by Sunset+Vine from London. The coverage will be fronted by presenter Rishi Persad with expert analysis provided by former England captains Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss.
The TV rights to the one-day international and T20 series’ between the two teams have yet to be awarded.