Cricket World Cup final could yet be shown on free-to-air platform

first_imgThe Cricket World Cup final could yet be shown on a free-to-air platform in the UK, with the rights holder, Sky, understood to be considering making the match available to non-subscribers in a one-off move.A debate has raged about the tournament’s visibility to the wider public, not least after viewing figures showed England’s win against Scotland in the football Women’s World Cup attracted an average of 4.6 million viewers on BBC One, compared with an average of 550,000 for the England men’s cricket team on Sky Sports. Cricket World Cup 2019 The Guardian understands this has led to talks among senior executives at Sky as to whether the Lord’s final on 14 July should be opened up to more viewers in an acknowledgment this is a once-in-a-generation summer for English cricket.No final decision has been made – it remains a sensitive topic at Sky and one that has ramifications for its business model – and a range of options for how this would work in practical terms are still being discussed.Sky, which has held exclusive home rights to English cricket since 2006 and will have invested more than £2bn in the sport by the end of the next rights cycle in 2024, could choose to place the match on a streaming platform such as YouTube, its own website or team with a terrestrial partner. Eoin Morgan is leading a talented and diverse team who have risen to the top of the world rankings and are among the World Cup favourites. When asked before Friday’s game against West Indies in Southampton whether he worries they are not reaching a wider audience, Morgan pointed to the BBC and Sky’s online highlights, as well as social media.“I don’t think kids will sit at home [and watch on TV], they get everything on tablets,” he said. “So online is key. As long as there aren’t restrictions there. I think everybody is getting it and that’s a huge positive.” Television industry Sky One and Sky Sports Mix are not available to all households but are other options that would at least mean a subscription to the broadcaster’s cricket channel is not required. Another route would be to offer a free day pass to Now TV, Sky’s pay‑as‑you‑go service, as a way of attracting new customers.BT Sport had a huge increase in its audience when placing the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham on its YouTube channel and app free of charge, although it was obliged to do so under the terms of its contract with Uefa given at least one English team was involved. India v Pakistan, Boris Johnson’s street rugby and US Open memories Cricket Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Eoin Morgan Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Sky Sports Topics The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Chris Gayle may not be biggest of England’s problems against Windies Read more Read more Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Sports rights news England cricket team Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Reuse this content Share via Emaillast_img read more

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