16 years after Test cricket last aired on a free-to-air channel in the UK, this year’s matches are returning to Channel 4, and will be shown live on the channel, as well as stream via All4.
Channel 4 had won the bid for the exclusive free to air live television coverage of England’s Test series against India, after reportedly battling against the likes of Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The rights are held by Star Sports, which is owned by Disney, and were sublicensed to Channel 4.
This will be the first time live Test cricket has been on free to air television since Channel 4 showed England’s Ashes win in 2005.
Viewers will have to get up early, however, as the first match begins at 4am, on Friday the 5th of February. (see the full details down below).
“We’re delighted to be showing live Test cricket on Channel 4 again”, said Channel 4’s Head of Sport Pete Andrews. “Given the recent performances of both sides this series is set to be a cracker. We’re thrilled to have struck this deal with Star Sports”
Captained by Joe Root, England will be bolstered by their convincing 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka which takes them to five consecutive overseas Test wins.
England will face a buoyant Indian side which pulled off a remarkable Test win in Brisbane, which saw them secure a 2-1 series win on Australian soil, despite not having all their first-choice players available.
How Can I Watch Test Cricket On Channel 4?
Channel 4 and Channel 4 HD is available on most TV platforms in the UK, and most importantly, on the free ones – Freeview, Youview and Freesat (Though Freesat, unfortunately, doesn’t carry Channel 4 HD, just the SD version).
To watch Channel 4 on Freesat, you need a satellite dish, and a Freesat box (see our recommendations here).
The Test cricket matches, however, will also air on All4 – Channel 4’s streaming video service. All4 can be watched either directly on the website, or with the All4 app that’s available for most of the streaming devices sold in the UK.
Note that on All4, the Test Cricket matches will only be available live, as they air. Afterwards, highlights will be available on-demand, but not the full matches.
The full series schedule is:
- 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’s studio presentation and commentary team will be announced at a later date.
(Featured Image: Deposit Photos / ESPA)