Ashes to return to free TV

England’s home Ashes Test Matches could switch to free-to-air television under recommendations on the “crown jewels” of British sport unveiled today (13 November).

The Ashes

The report follows a review carried out by former Football Association executive director David Davies in to which events in the sporting calendar should be screened on free-to-air channels.

The report also recommends that World Cup and European Championship qualifiers involving home nations be broadcast on free-to-air channels.

The recommendations will be presented to the Government, which will then decide whether to act on them.

The move is likely to anger BSkyB, which aired this summer’s Ashes on Sky Sports and cricket’s governing body, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which will argue that the sport will lose millions.

Npower, the title sponsor of domestic Ashes series has previously welcomed the possibility of a return to free-to air television as it would mean “greater returns for sponsors’ investments” but now adds that it recognises that “that this decision will have significant financial implications on cricket in England and Wales.”

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