Coverage of Test series under threat

Jonathan Agnew at cricket ground Jonathan Agnew might not cover this Test series in India unless a dispute is resolved

The BBC's radio coverage of England's Test series in India is under threat, only weeks after the deal to cover the series was concluded.

The BBC says the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is making 'unreasonable demands' in asking for an extra £80,000 for costs associated with providing facilities in Ahmedabad next month.

A similar demand is being made of Sky, who has six-year television rights to England tests in India. The broadcaster is being asked for an extra £496,000 on top of what it has already paid.

Both the BBC and Sky are disputing these extra costs.

While Sky has made plans for its commentary team to cover the matches from Isleworth, the BBC's ball-by-ball radio coverage may not go ahead unless the dispute can be resolved.

Unless there is a resolution, the BBC team - which is led by former fast bowler Jonathan Agnew - would have to commentate on the match from television pictures, putting it on a par with a service already provided by testmatchsofa.com.

Agnew tweeted recently: 'Real danger that tv and radio commentary will all be done from home, rather than India (if we do it at all).'

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.'

The BBC's Test Match Special goes out on Radio 4 Longwave and 5 Live Sports Extra.

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