World Cup final on free-to-air TV if England qualify, Sky Sports announce - GulfToday

World Cup final on free-to-air TV if England qualify, Sky Sports announce

England

England players during training session. File

Sky Sports will broadcast the World Cup final on free-to-air television — if England qualify.

The broadcaster said on Friday that if England reach the July 14 final at Lord's — they are in semi-final action next week — it will "ensure as wide an audience as possible is able to watch the game".

The broadcaster said their decision would "ensure as wide an audience as possible is able to watch the game."

England have qualified for the semi-finals and will meet either India or Australia on Thursday July 11. The final is at Lord's on July 14.

Meanwhile, the television audiences in Britain for the Cricket World Cup have been contrasted unfavourably with the millions who watched the England team's run to the semi-finals of football's Women's World Cup on free-to-air television.

Sky UK and Ireland chief executive Stephen Van Rooyen said: "We are proud to be the broadcaster for a home Cricket World Cup — one of the world's biggest and most exciting sporting events.

"Our aim has always been to celebrate what could be a 'once in a generation' moment of a home team in a big final on home soil.

"So, if England reach the final, we will make the match available to everyone so the whole country can be part of a rare and special big sporting moment."

International cricket in the UK has been behind satellite broadcaster's subscription paywall since 2005.

Many pundits claim the decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board to take the game off free-to-air television has been a central factor in the sport's declining popularity in its birthplace, particularly among younger age groups.

England paceman Liam Plunkett said Thursday the team wanted to attract the largest following they could.

"You want as many people to watch it as possible," he told BBC Radio.

"Playing for England you're the pride of the country and you want people to be able to access that and watch that.

"It's always nice to be on a bigger platform. We feel like we've built something special here as a team.

"It would be nice to go all the way and to have big numbers watching that final if we get through and win, that would be huge."

 

 

Agence France-Presse