No TV deal for England tour of India next winter with Sky Sports deciding not to negotiate with the BBCI over Test, ODI and T20 matches
- Sky Sports in advanced talks to screen next month’s series in Sri Lanka
- Broadcaster has not shown any internationals in India since end of their contract
- They also lost the rights to cover the IPL to domestic rivals BT Sport last year
England fans could be denied the opportunity to watch next year’s crucial Test tour to India as a domestic TV deal for the four-match series has yet to be agreed.
Sportsmail has learned that Sky Sports are in advanced talks with Sri Lankan Cricket over rights to broadcast next month’s two-match series that precedes the India trip, but are not negotiating with the Indian Board (BCCI) over the winter’s main Test series and the five one-day internationals and three T20s that were confirmed last week.
Sky have not broadcast international cricket from India since their last contract expired two years ago amid what the broadcaster deemed to be the BBCI’s excessive demands.
Joe Root’s England face India in the final series of the inaugural World Test Championship
They also lost the rights to cover the IPL to domestic rivals BT Sport last year, leading to fears that fans could miss out on England’s final series of the inaugural World Test Championship as Joe Root’s side attempt to qualify for next summer’s final at Lord’s.
Sky could yet agree a separate sub-licensing deal with global rights holders Star Sports, but that relationship has also been tested by the fall-out from last year’s IPL negotiations. The competition had been screened by Sky since 2015, but India’s domestic broadcaster Star have since sold the rights on to BT.
Meanwhile, England’s new Test recruit Dan Lawrence found himself in hot water at Australia’s Big Bash on Monday after apparently breaching Covid-19 protocols.
England cricket’s tour of India early next year will include a day-night Test in Ahmedabad
They will become the first international side to play at the Sardar Patel Stadium (above)