The Ashes 2010-11 November 17, 2010

ITV secure Ashes highlights

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ashes cricket will be shown free-to-air in England after digital channel ITV4 secured rights to broadcast one-hour evening highlights.

ITV had success with its exclusive UK coverage of this year's Indian Premier League and now gets a first chance of showcasing Test cricket as well as the seven one-day and two Twenty20 internationals against Australia in January and February.

The highlights will be broadcast at 10pm, shortly before the following day's live action will be about to get underway. Nevertheless ITV say the channel is available to 93% of UK homes and its coverage is welcome news to those who feared no terrestrial coverage of the Ashes would be available.

ITV controller of sport, Niall Sloane said: "There is huge demand to see England defend the Ashes and I'm delighted that we have secured highlights, free-to-air for UK viewers."

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  • dummy4fb on November 18, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    @bart26a BSkyB put their own subscriber numbers at just under 10 million people, and I can't find any numbers listed for people that actually have Sky Sports, but its likely to be around half that. I certainly don't have it, its far too expensive. Which puts me in a bad position as a cricket fan given that cricket except for Ashes highlights and the IPL, cricket is more or less entirely owned by Sky in England.

    So yeah I'd say Sky are ripping people off. At least when the Ashes was on FTA the whole country had access to it. Now only around 10% do.

  • CricketPissek on November 18, 2010, 20:58 GMT

    lol @barty26a. indeed i can :) it's all good. i'm not complaining! I didnt miss any of the highlights the last time. it just makes it easier for me at 10pm. great news that the highlights are on terrestrial tv anyway. if people really ARE interested in cricket, they can get sky or go to a pub? :D

  • Hillaire on November 18, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    Barty26a, I am a sky sports HD subscriber and thoroughly enjoy it, but even I can see that the BBC would do a much better job for cricket than sky can ever do. It would publicise it better on TV, radio, magazines and to a far larger number of people. I enjoy sky but it will never be as good as the BBC because it will never care enough about the sport and its unique influence on the nation. In fact would I even be aware of cricket if it wasnt for TMS? Its perfect for sky because it attacts wealthy punters and gives them plenty of opportunity for adverts and air time. But its not the best for the future of cricket in England that is obvious.

  • barty26a on November 18, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Davidc 1984 At the end of June it was 9.86 million and last month Sky announced it was now over 10million of which 3 million were HD subscribers, re casual viewers for home series, the evening 7pm slot on Five highlights is surely perfect for them.

    My point was that even when the Ashes was on free to air (see 2005 comment) viewing figures were very low.

    CricketPissek surely even you can afford a video recorder

  • davidc1984 on November 18, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Barty, Sky Sports only has 5m subscribers, and the UK has an estimated 22m households so that's 25% of the country who could watch it live. Obviously cricket fans are more likely than the average person to subscribe to Sky Sports, but there will still be a significant amount of cricket fans and casual viewers who want to watch cricket but don't have Sky Sports. Not that there'll be a lot of casual viewers tuning in from 12am-6/7am, but for the home series there would have been.

  • maxinquaye7 on November 18, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    how is Sky ripping everyone off? they pay for it, they show it. i know everyone wants something for free but come on - you get what you pay for these days and Sky gives you better coverage of cricket from around the world than any major terrestrial channel ever did, could or would.

  • CricketPissek on November 18, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    i'm glad i'll be able to catch the highlights at least. @barty26a - 10 million ppl may have sky, but how many can afford the SkySports bundle? Also, a lot of buildings (like the one i live in) do not allow Satellite dishes to be installed. And i ain't paying Virgin £50+ per month to get cable tv + SkySports! @facebook user who has no tv - if you don't pay a tv licence you can't be complaining about not being able to see it without a tv :P i wonder if the highlights would be on the ITV on demand player! That would be wicked! but 10-11pm is quite good as it means i should be at home by then. unlike the 7pm ones that Ch5 had =/

  • dummy4fb on November 18, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Most importantly, will it be Sunset + Vine?

  • barty26a on November 18, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    Sky is now received in over 10million households in the UK so it's just not true these days to say if the Ashes isn't on free to air a lot of people can't watch it. When Channel 4 covered the whole of the 2005 ashes series the average daily viewing figures were below a million peaking in the evening when people got home from work.We also had to endure Channel 4 interrupting their coverage because they had to show some horse race. There has always been a free to air channel showing the highlights in the evening although for all their posturing the BBC have never bothered to bid. Sky's coverage has always been excellent and innovative. I'd far rather not be forced to pay a TV licence and chose to pay a sky subscription if I wanted to. It's just lazy criticism and getting on the band wagon to say 'sky are ripping us off' because it just isn't true

  • dummy4fb on November 18, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I certainly hope the highlights are going to be on the ITV player - I havent got a TV!

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