The BBC are likely to report from their own headquarters as well
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have joined Sky TV in their dispute with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over additional fees to cover the upcoming Test series between England and India.
Sky looks set to cover the matches from their headquarters in west London after being demanded to pay an additional £500,000 by the BCCI to have their own commentary box during the series.
The BBC announced that they are likely to follow Sky’s lead after being asked to pay an additional fee for their Test Match Special (TMS) radio service to have access to the broadcasting facilities inside the grounds.
On Thursday, the Times newspaper reported that the additional fee BBC were asked to pay totalled £50,000.
TMS commentator Jonathan Agnew later confirmed the situation via his Twitter account.
“India tour crisis deepens and involves TMS. BBC has rights but like Sky, now charged for commentary boxes – to be allowed in, in other words, real danger that TV and radio commentary will all be done from home, rather than India (if we do it at all),” he tweeted.
The BCCI have been in negotiations with Sky for the past week and defended their actions, stating that the additional charges were “realistic costs”.
However, Sky declared that by winning the rights to cover the series, everything should be provided for them.
Speaking about the dispute, a BCCI official, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “It is not as if they have only asked for a commentary box. They have demanded a full control room, just like the one that our host broadcaster has at every venue. If you have to create an additional space of 2000 sq ft, fully air-conditioned, it will bear a lot of cost. And neither the BCCI nor any of our affiliated units who would be hosting the match would bear the additional cost.”
If Sky choose not to send their team of experts, which include former England captains Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Ian Botham, along with West Indies pace legend Michael Holding, then it will be the first time in two decades that an England overseas series will not have a British commentary team at the grounds.
Sky will instead use the footage supplied by Indian broadcaster Star TV, but will stick with their own panel of pundits.