People are streaming live cricket online via Kodi

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Kodi logo

If you don’t know about online TV streaming software, Kodi, we’ve written a bit of an explainer. As well as taking a quick look at the software itself, we’ve also looked at what sort of content’s available, the legality of streaming and what this technology might mean for the future of cricket broadcasting.

More and more cricket is being televised, but it’s spread across ever greater numbers of channels. It’s a complex landscape and things aren’t always straightforward even when you subscribe to a particular broadcaster.

For example, our Sky Sports subscription only seems to cover Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. This means we generally can’t watch Test match highlights/discussion show The Verdict on weekends because it tends to be broadcast on Sky Sports 4.

If you want to watch all of this year’s England matches, you would also need a subscription to BT Sport because they’re the ones covering the Ashes.

Kodi’s burgeoning popularity arises because users are able to bypass these complexities and without any subscription costs. If that sounds too good to be true then you might want to have a read.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. The legality of Kodi/etc is definitely a hot topic at the moment – Sky/BT/etc are reporting much lower audiences for live football, for example, which is being explained in many places as “millenials [yeah, I know] don’t watch live sport”, but it could just as easily be “it’s available for free elsewhere, so many people won’t pay a subscription for it”. The amount that, say, BT are paying for Champions League rights is unsustainable for them given their current revenue per customer (some people cleverer than me have actually worked out what they would need to charge in order to break even, and it’s much more than most BT Sport customers are paying).

    Cricket is in many ways not a typical case, not least because there are so many established ways to ‘follow live cricket’ without watching it on TV (radio, online scorecards/liveblogs, talking nonsense in the comments section of cricket websites, etc). Even so, it’s not immune from the dynamic that’s affecting football, not least because there is so little cricket of any type available to watch live for free in the UK without getting into the ethical/legal grey area of Kodi and its many alternatives.

  2. Funny thing: I was chatting with some music business people last week who were bemoaning the shortage of commercial acumen in their sector compared with the sports sector.

    I mumbled about the cultural differences between the two sectors (talent and management) as an important factor – which I still believe is true to some extent.

    But I wish I had also said, “the sports sector’s disruptive technology might be upon it sooner than we know…”

    Very interesting piece, KC. Please revert to cats and rotund cricketers before we all start to expect too much of you. Nobody needs that sort of pressure on a sole-trading, free-to-air media channel.

      1. Who has time for the khazi these days?

        In the words of Andrea Leadsom, you’ve clearly never had children.

      2. Patience Sam. The time will come when you can watch all the sport you want to, especially actually attending the ground, under the sole condition that you take the kids with you.

        “Don’t worry,” I said to the missus on Saturday, ” You go out for a coffee with your friends, I’ll look after the kids, sort out their lunch and keep them entertained for the afternoon.” An hour later we were all at the AJ Bell stadium watching Salford play Wigan while at the same time earning, or at least failing to lose, brownie points.

      3. Not so easy when the only sporting venues within reasonable distance belong to a League 2 football club and a National League 1 rugby union team.

  3. Will this let me watch Sepak Takraw, the greatest sport conceived by the human mind and more amazingly, ACTUALLY PLAYED BY HUMANS?

    1. “In Myanmar it is known as chin lone, and is considered more of an art as there is often no opposing team, and the point is to keep the ball aloft gracefully and interestingly”

  4. I’d been considering writing you for some time regarding the question “how to watch the cricket.” Maybe this clears that up.

    It’s a pity there is no equivalent to Annual fee, all games live and on demand (going back two seasons), no commercials. I assume the problem is not a technical one, but rather along the same lines as the reasons the BBC and ABC thumb their noses at listeners abroad.

    1. I think the main difference between the cricket situation and or NFL Game Pass is that those US sports have a single rights owner for the competition in question – the ICC doesn’t own the TV rights to every game of cricket played anywhere in any competition, or even to every Test Match played anywhere – those rights are sold by the host board.

      As a comparison, lets you watch every (say) Oakland Athletics or Seattle Mariners game, but you have to pay extra if you want to watch the likes of Lansing Lugnuts or the (real) Albuquerque Isotopes play in the Minor Leagues.

      For ICC competitions, or for a given competition (eg the IPL or the Ashes), an type solution would be possible for cricket, but the nature of the cricketing calendar is such that paying £50 or more just to watch a single tour is unlikely to be very appealing to many fans.

  5. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the BCCI (and their broadcaster Star Sports) have finally got their act together on streaming cricket. Star’s official app allows you to stream every home game for free, but with a 5 minute delay. If you buy a subscription, you get to watch without the delay.

    It’s an elegant solution to a longstanding problem, and pirated streams for home games have almost disappeared.

    Of course even the BCCI can’t do much to make streaming accessible for away series. Maybe if we had a smaller group controlling all cricket, a “big three” to coin a term, things might have been better…

    1. That’s pretty ingenious. Is five minutes enough to be annoying though? We’ll quite often pause the TV to make a brew/get a beer and end up watching five minutes behind anyway. And we’re paying.

      1. It’s plenty annoying, particularly for limited overs cricket. During the world T20 you first heard the cheers from people watching on TV, then find out what happened on Cricinfo, and finally get to watch it “live” on your app.

        It was like living in the Matrix before I shelled out for the subscription.

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