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nicka2
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England's cricket tour to India

The England cricket team travel to India shortly for several weeks during which they will play Test matches, T20s and ODIs. Neither Sky, BT Sport or Amazon have the UK rights to the tour, which will be owned by an Indian TV channel called HotStar (which is soon to become part of Disney!)

I understand UK viewers can subscribe to HotStar for £5.99 per month, and wondered if there would be any integration with Virgin Media for those who wish to follow the tour?

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japitts
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Re: England's cricket tour to India

I've seen this topic discussed on a couple of other non-VM-specific TV fora, but haven't exhaustively read all the discussion.

A quick 30second Google found this (paywalled) article which, without being able to read the whole thing, does suggest UK TV rights for this tour are still "up for debate"...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tv-subscription-war-heats-up-with-disney-to-show-englands-tour-to... 

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nicka2
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Re: England's cricket tour to India

Thanks for this. I am a Times subscriber, and read that article when it was originally published. In a previous life when I was a Sky subscriber, I was able to add BT Sport to my Sky package and paid a monthly subscription direct to BT. I doubt very much any UK broadcaster will take up the rights from HotStar and simply wondered if Virgin would be integrating the HotStar monthly subscription within their package (to allow recording of early starts - the Tests all commence at 04:00 UK time - etc), as Sky previously did for BT Sport.

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Re: England's cricket tour to India


@nicka2 wrote:

Thanks for this. I am a Times subscriber, and read that article when it was originally published. In a previous life when I was a Sky subscriber, I was able to add BT Sport to my Sky package and paid a monthly subscription direct to BT. I doubt very much any UK broadcaster will take up the rights from HotStar and simply wondered if Virgin would be integrating the HotStar monthly subscription within their package (to allow recording of early starts - the Tests all commence at 04:00 UK time - etc), as Sky previously did for BT Sport.


Firstly, Sky did not “allow” BT onto their platform. They are rivals. Sky does not own the satellites they use, they just rent space on them. There are also three uplink sites in the UK, one owned by BT, one by Arqiva & the other by Sky. The encryption system Sky use is also open source under an agreement with OFCOM, so any broadcaster can add a channel or channels to Sky cards & take the subscription from the customer direct, which is what BT did. The only thing BT have been paying Sky for is the EPG slots. It is only recently that they have buried the hatchet & you can now pay Sky a combined subscription.

As far as Virgin are concerned, theirs is a closed system & all charges for linear channels have to be controlled by them as they own all the “transmission” equipment. Hence you pay for BT Sports to Virgin & not direct to BT. One of the reasons for the initial delays in signing a deal with BT Sports when it first started was BTs reluctance to let Virgin control their subscriptions.

If a deal cannot be struck with existing linear outputs it is likely to be a streaming app (Disney+ would be the obvious one) that will provide access. 

Virgin BB TV Landline. Freeview/Freesat HD, Virgin Mobile, Tesco Mobile. Cable customer since 1993

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nicka2
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Re: England's cricket tour to India

Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge. Funnily enough I have a free 12 month subscription to Disney+ (which I've yet to start) as a result of buying a new iPhone 12 - I didn't think at the time that I'd be using it to watch cricket! From further research I understand that the HotStar/Disney arrangement is unlikely to commence in the UK until the end of Feb, so after the Tests but it time for the T20 series and the ODIs.

I also think it possible that Sky/BT Sport/Amazon might be playing brinkmanship with the host broadcaster/BCCI, and we might yet see a domestic broadcaster picjk up the rights. 

Interesting times...   

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Re: England's cricket tour to India


@nicka2 wrote:

I also think it possible that Sky/BT Sport/Amazon might be playing brinkmanship with the host broadcaster/BCCI, and we might yet see a domestic broadcaster picjk up the rights.


Absolutely to this. Amazon have form in picking up "low hanging fruit" that the traditional linear broadasters don't necessarily want.

BT & Sky certainly have form in brinkmanship - look at the recent Premiership Rugby renewal with BT for evidence of that.

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Re: England's cricket tour to India

Various news sites are reporting that Sky Sports, BT Sport and Channel 4 are all bidding to do a deal to show this forthcoming cricket series in the UK.

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Graham

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