BBC stand firm over threat to TMS coverage of England's tour to India
22:48 GMT, 29 October 2012
The BBC are locked in talks over the cost of sending their iconic Test Match Special team to cover England’s tour of India.
An agreement has still not been reached with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with Corporation representatives reiterating that the 'unreasonable demands' being made of them by the Indian board would not be stomached.
The BCCI is reportedly charging the BBC an extra 50,000 to cover radio production costs at the four Tests in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Nagpur and Kolkata, while Sky have been asked for an additional 500,000 to install television studios at each ground.
Voice of TMS: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew (right)
If the row is not resolved, Sky intend to use the voices of Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, commentating in a west London studio, over pictures fed by Indian host broadcaster Star Sports.
But TMS, which has earned a devoted following since it began in 1957, is reluctant to follow suit due to the existence of the Test Match Sofa website, whose commentators are based in south London and provide a similar service.
With the first Test in Ahmedabad less than three weeks away, a solution needs to be found quickly if hundreds of thousands of fans are not to be deprived of commentary from Jonathan Agnew, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘We are continuing talks with the relevant authorities in India about what we regard as unreasonable demands for facility fees.
‘We remain hopeful that the talks will be resolved successfully and we can broadcast Test Match Special from India for England’s Test series.’