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BBC at risk of losing another major sporting event with rival free-to-air broadcasters lining up bids

THE BBC could lose another top sporting event as free-to-air rivals hover for cricket rights.

A day after admitting its Six Nations rugby coverage was in danger, the Beeb fear being hit for six over Test-match highlights, T20 summer internationals and Hundred matches.

Test highlights such as last summer’s Ashes thriller could be a thing of the past on the Beeb as they face hard decisions amid financial cutbacks

The BBC has already confirmed its Six Nations coverage is under threat

The BBC is juggling falling income with a desire to keep showing major sport.

Football’s World Cup, tennis at Wimbledon and the Olympics are amongst the few elite events still safe with the Beeb.

Now The Times say the national broadcaster is braced for a fight over cricket when its current deal ends next year.

Channel 4 is seen as the terrestrial station most likely to compete with the BBC.

Cricket chiefs the ECB are looking to boost their own funding – and a highlights package is the best way to do that with international cricket.

That’s because the ECB’s deal for live coverage with Sky Sports is fixed until 2028. 

The Beeb currently broadcasts Test highlights, two men’s T20 internationals, one women’s T20 game and up to ten Hundred matches.

But the corporation might soon see cricket fall beyond its boundary for spending.

It follows the BBC confirming the Six Nations might slip from its grasp.

Outgoing BBC director Barbara Slater said “incredibly difficult” decisions are needed following a 30 per cent drop in revenue.

She added: “We need a well-funded BBC if we are going to be able to continue to afford sports rights.”