UK cricket enthusiasts could potentially be left in the dark as negotiations for the television broadcasting rights for the India versus England matches are yet to be finalized.

Cricket enthusiasts may face a potential blackout as England’s Test series against India is yet to secure a broadcasting deal on UK television, with less than three weeks remaining before the first ball is bowled.
The highly anticipated five-match tour, featuring the second and third-ranked teams in the world, is a prestigious event in the Test cricket calendar. However, no agreement has been reached for the opening game in Hyderabad, scheduled to start on January 25. TalkSPORT holds the radio rights.
India remains the most lucrative market for the sport, but negotiations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India often go down to the wire as rights distributors seek to recoup their significant initial investments.
A similar situation unfolded during England’s last Test series tour of the country in 2021, ultimately resulting in a last-minute bid from Channel 4, unexpectedly re-entering the market.
Channel 4’s interest at the time was partly driven by catering to a captive audience hungry for live sport following the coronavirus lockdowns. However, with Channel 4’s focus this year being on its Paralympics coverage, there is reportedly no intention to make a similar move this time.
Therefore, Sky Sports and TNT are potential broadcasting options. Sky has historically been the go-to broadcaster for all England tours between 1990 and 2017, and it is well-positioned to step in at short notice. TNT, previously known as BT Sport, has also made strides in the field.
While the game time slots of 4am to midday are far from prime time, England, under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, are making explicit efforts to enhance the entertainment value and profile of Test cricket. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the England and Wales Cricket Board would not make some effort to facilitate discussions. PA Media has reached out to the governing body for comment.
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England will fly to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday to commence a team bonding and training camp.

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