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Where can I watch cricket in the UK and the USA?
Okay, so you’re looking to spend the afternoon watching the match. Here’s where you might be able to tune in.
The vast majority of cricket rights in the UK are held by Sky Sports, a subscription TV channel. It’ll cost you at least £38 a month to get Sky Sports Cricket (for which you need the basic Sky entertainment package as well). Alternatively, if you’re looking to pick and choose from the days of cricket Sky show, you can get 24-hour, week-long or month-long passes via Now TV. Sky hold all the rights for England games in the UK and have every away game with the exception of matches which take place in Australia (they belong to BT Sport, more on that in a bit). Matches from South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies often pop up here too.
Sky’s stranglehold on cricket rights is diminishing, however. They are struggling to agree deals with India for either franchise or international matches, with the games instead popping up on Hotstar and subscription-based online streaming service. The IPL looks like it could be heading here, too, despite a rights agreement initially being struck with Sky in 2018.
For matches out of the UAE featuring Pakistan, and the Pakistan Super League, Star Sports has been the place to go – this is available via satellite networks such as Sky and Virgin Media and does not cost extra.
BT Sport holds the UK broadcast rights for all cricket being played in Australia until 2021 – that includes the Big Bash and the Women’s Big Bash.
Many online betting companies stream matches, as long as you have had a bet on the game in question, but it’s worth checking which tournaments they are providing the service for before you spend your money.
Some matches – and there are not that many – are provided via free YouTube streams (Ireland’s recent Test match in Afghanistan, for example, or various Associate nations games), but you’ll need to do a basic Google search as and when these matches occur as there is no consistency to it.
The best place for cricket via TV in the United States is through the Willow Channel, available a host of providers including Spectrum, Sling, Fios, Dish, CenturyLink and many others.
It’s a subscription service but holds the US broadcast rights to loads of cricket tournaments, including the upcoming World Cup and the Indian Premier League. Willow has rights agreements with the national boards of Australia, India, England, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka, too. It’s worth looking into, and costs around $10 per month.
Hotstar USA recently launched and will be carrying coverage of the IPL and World Cup. You can get a subscription for $5 per month if paid annually, or $10 in installments. There’s a tidy little app, too, which means you can access the content on the move as designed for mobile.
Again, some matches will be available via YouTube (USA’s first ever T20I against Oman recently, for example) but these are few, far between and hard to predict.
Whether you’re viewing in the US or UK, do your best to avoid illegal streams. They are tacky, unreliable and could get you in a heap of trouble.