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People who want to watch live coverage of all upcoming Ashes matches may need broadband TV subscriptions with providers such as Sky, the government has confirmed.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson has stated that no changes are to be made to the free-to-air list of sports events until the end of the digital TV switchover, which means no review will be carried out until 2013.

Because of this, rights for home Ashes Test matches will remain with Sky's premium sports channels for the foreseeable future, which are now available through bundled deals offered by the broadband provider and rivals including BT and Virgin Media.

Discussing the decision, Mr Robertson said he supported the principle of protecting certain events, but suggested it would be best to wait.

He explained: "With digital switchover concluding in 2012, this will result in the widespread availability of a significantly increased number of television channels, many of which will be free to air."

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