Sports Channel Network provides FTA cricket for UK

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UK cricket fans can watch the sport, free of charge, on Sports Channel Network (SCN) as the OTT channel signs up the new European Cricket League and the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes.

SCN, which is available on channel 266 on Freeview and YouView and via an online APP, is an OTT Video on Demand channel allowing viewerss to watch content when they want, where they want, in HD quality. There is no subscription fee as the channel is ad-funded. SCN is a digital service but on a traditional broadcast platform if users want to watch on a Smart TV.

“As this summer’s England performances have shown, cricket is a sport that has the power to resonate and should be an integral part of our culture. It is entertaining, fun and its shock results create headlines,” says Paul Coster, CEO of SCN.

SCN has reached an agreement with a new cricket initiative called the European Cricket League. The ECL features 8 champion clubs from domestic leagues in Europe with participation from Denmark, France, Romania, Spain, Russia, Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands. It’s a club-focused Champions League to attract young stars of the future and capitalise on growing interest in cricket on the continent. The European Cricket League (ECL) is about to debut its maiden season at the La Manga Club in Spain from 29 to 31 July. SCN is adopting a favoured partner approach to the ECL, supporting promotion of the event with short form daily edits on the channel and social media followed by a highlights programme later in August.

“We are delighted to be a partner of SCN as we launch the European Cricket League,” said ECL founder Daniel Weston. “Like us, SCN is doing something new by appealing to fans who want to watch sport when they want, where they want, and best of all, for free. England’s dramatic win in the World Cup was shown free to air, and we are excited that the best of ECL cricket will also be easily accessible in the UK thanks to SCN.”

SCN’s programme covering the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes tournament remains one of its top performing programmes in terms of unique viewers and coverage of the 2019 event will go live in the Autumn. The Hong Kong Cricket Sixes is a six-a-side international cricket tournament held at the Kowloon Cricket Club. Organised by Cricket Hong Kong, it is sanctioned by the International Cricket Council. The tournament is designed for television viewing, with rules and a venue that encourage aggressive batting and high scoring. Every player, except the wicket-keeper, is required to bowl one over.

“We are delighted to be able to show unusual cricket content to UK fans, who can access it free of charge. As SCN is connected to over 9 million households in the UK via FreeView and YouView, we can play a role in helping to make cricket as accessible as possible. And since we are VoD, we are not focusing on live rights but offer another platform for storytelling and features on events and athletes which can help raise awareness and interest in that sport in the UK market. Our programmes and promotion can help to promote any live coverage and be part of a balanced TV rights portfolio for sport,” added Coster.


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