Sky gets OK for cricket deal

UK TV regulator Ofcom has given BSkyBís £220 million deal to broadcast live English international cricket the go-ahead. BSkyB sought approval as the events are oritected events Ė if any free-to-air broadcaster wants to show them, they receive precedence.

But only no broadcasters responded negatively to Ofcomís consultations. Under the Group B listed events legislation, a pay-TV broadcaster may acquire live rights provided the highlights are available free-to-air. Five, which supported BSkyBís application, has shown highlights for the last three years and will now renew the deal although it does not have the 95% coverage of the country that the law requires.

Ofcom said it received only one representation which challenged the acquisition, from an individual complaining that live coverage would not be available on free-to-air terrestrial television. However, that, said Ofcom, was a matter for the government which passed the original legislation, and not the regulator.

Sky Sports will broadcast cricket test matches played in England 2010-2013.