Sky Sports Cricket is going to be cheaper and you won’t have to subscribe

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We were bemoaning the out-of-date way in which broadcasters sell sport to consumers a month or so ago. We said it was too expensive and you had to sign up to too much that you didn’t want.

Maybe they listened.

Sky Sports has announced a series of changes which will (eventually) address all of these concerns. They didn’t announce a new deal that would see the company break away from Rupert Murdoch, unfortunately – but time will take care of that eventually. You can’t persuade time to call off its assault, Rupert. You can’t scare away the Grim Reaper with a load of bullshit headlines.

The Guardian reports that Sky Sports is going to do away with its policy of peppering cricket across multiple channels and is instead going to stick it all on Sky Cricket. You will then be able to subscribe to that channel alone at reduced cost, as you won’t also be signing up to a whole bunch of football you couldn’t give a toss about.

But that hasn’t been the only issue. TV sport subscriptions are merely the tip of an investment iceberg which also requires you to get a base TV package and probably your phone and broadband from the same provider. It looks like this too could change.

When we wrote about using Kodi to stream live cricket, we pointed out that the fragmented marketplace meant there were no guarantees that the TV channel you subscribe to would even be showing all of the matches you’re interested in. If the broadcasters can’t afford to provide everything you want, chances are you don’t want to commit to paying them for a year when they’re only doing half a job.

This is where Now TV comes in.

Now TV is a pay-as-you-go subscription-free TV service. At present, this flexibility means it is a pay-through-the-nose-as-you-go TV service where one day of Sky Sports will cost you eight quid, a week will cost you £11 and a month will cost you £34.

But again, you’re paying for six channels you aren’t even watching and so the changes to Sky Sports subscriptions should drip down to the cost of this service as well.

This is good news. You may however be concerned that much of this is irrelevant as BT Sport is buying up more and more cricket. Well, rest assured that anything Sky Sports does, BT Sport will also do, only slightly later. We fully expect their own subscription-free TV service to materialise before too long.

Immediately before this winter’s Ashes series would a very good time to launch.


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. ‘They didn’t announce a new deal that would see the company break away from Rupert Murdoch, unfortunately – but time will take care of that eventually. You can’t persuade time to call off its assault, Rupert. You can’t scare away the Grim Reaper with a load of bullshit headlines.’

    And that’s why this remains my favourite cricket blog.

  2. Have you tried watching cricket on Now TV? There’s something about the picture that’s not quite right – I think its something to do with the frame rate. This makes it all but unwatchable for me, I can get a better picture on Kodi (sometimes).

    I wouldn’t bet on cricket becoming cheaper on Now TV. They just took the kids channels off it and now offer it as separate ‘package’ at additional cost. If cricket goes the same way I think they’ll do a similar thing.

    1. Could you subscribe to the kids channels and nothing else, or do you have to get everything else first?

      1. Yes your right, you can just subscribe to that. So it’s probably safe to ignore everything I said. As you were.

        But the picture quality bit still stands. Also Now TV only broadcast in 720p, rather than full 1080 HD like they do on Sky (let alone the new 4k stuff). I think this is a deliberate ploy to stop cheapskates downgrading their full Sky package, although this cheapskate can’t tell the difference.

  3. Essex are 373/0 with Cook approaching a double century at the time of writing. What a miserable experience that must be as a bowler.

    Toby Roland-Jones and Steven Finn are supposed to be battling for England spot. I’m half expecting them to retire.

    1. Miserable experience as s bowler? Try experiencing it from the Tom Pearce Stand.

      This is Ged Ladd reporting, from darkest, dankest Essex.

    1. Problem solved ball wise, I think. Very visible at 79 overs old and 1 over old.

      Those in the crowd who claim it to be less visible than red in daylight are the same folk who struggle to see the red in daylight – they just don’t think about it or mention it normally.

      The particular balls that Middlesex bowled with today did absolutely not a lot on that Chelmsford track. Remains to be seen if Essex sneakily muster a more yielding ball for Middlesex’s second dig.

      Shame about the weather – the evening slot was an opportunity to give families and working folk a peak at four-day cricket. A few dozen took advantage today – would have been hundreds I’m sure if weather had played ball.

      As for the frozen-blue balls and the brass-monkey-balls – thanks for asking – all thawed now I’m home!!

      1. I’m not sure why the evening slot should give the opportunity for a peak at four-day cricket. Do they raise the pitch higher in the evening session?

  4. All property is theft. That’s why I watch my cricket on streaming sites online. Also all my cutlery has come from 2009 university of Leicester canteens.

  5. Top story of the day is surely Scotland getting its answer to Mark Richardson – nice to see a Scotland international doing well in county cricket, even better to see one breaking a 103-year-old record. As the BBC put it, though shamefully not including him in their headline,

    Andy Umeed’s century was the slowest in County Championship history, breaking an 103-year-old record. He reached his ton in 429 minutes – nine more than the previous slowest, by Northamptonshire’s Billy Denton against Derbyshire in 1914.

    What patience! If something takes me 7 hours, I’ve usually forgotten what I’m doing by the end of it.

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