Channel 4 to show first live cricket in 14 years as England reach World Cup final
Channel 4, the UK free-to-air commercial broadcaster, is to show this Sunday’s Men's Cricket World Cup final live after England made it through to play New Zealand.
Under an agreement with main rights-holder Sky, the pay-television operator, there will be simultaneous coverage of Sunday’s match from Lord’s in London on the two networks, starting at 9am (UK).
Sky had pledged to make the final available on a free-to-air basis if England reached the World Cup final for the first time in 27 years, and this has duly come to pass after the hosts beat Australia by eight wickets in Birmingham on Thursday.
The match will switch from the main Channel 4 station to sister channel More 4 at 1.15pm while Formula 1’s British Grand Prix takes place, but return once the race is over.
Channel 4 is showing the grand prix from Silverstone in full under another sub-licensing agreement with Sky.
This Sunday’s match will be the first live cricket on Channel 4 since the memorable England-Australia Ashes series of 2005 although the broadcaster has been showing late-evening highlights of this year's World Cup, with the shows produced by Sunset+Vine, the UK-based TV sports production and media company.
Sky will be televising the match on its main entertainment channel Sky One, as well as its Sky Sports channels, while there is live radio coverage from the BBC, the UK's public-service broadcaster.
Affirming the free-to-air tie-up, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK and Ireland chief executive, said: “England in the final on home soil is a huge moment for sport in this country and we are proud to be the host broadcaster. Thanks to our strong relationship with Channel 4, we are partnering to make the game available to everyone, so the whole country can get behind England, and be part of a special national sporting event."
Sunday promises to be one of the biggest sporting days of the year in the UK as it also features the final of the men’s singles at tennis' Wimbledon Championships, to be televised by the BBC, while the home nations will be playing in the Netball World Cup, which got under way in Liverpool in England today, with rights shared by Sky and the public-service broadcaster.