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‘Test Match Special’ programme facing axe for first time in 40 yrs as BCCI officials demand 50K pounds fee from BBC

London, Oct. 28 (ANI): English cricket lovers face being deprived of overseas commentary from BBC Radio’s iconic Test Match Special programme for the first time in almost 40 years as Indian officials are demanding an extra 50,000 pounds from the British broadcasting network.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has broken with convention by demanding that BBC pays the extra amount to cover the costs of broadcast facilities during the upcoming Test series between England and India, while Sky Television has been told that it must pay about 500,000 pounds.

Both broadcasters insisted that the fees were not mentioned by the BCCI when the agreements to cover the series were finalised six weeks ago, the Daily Mail reports.

“We are continuing talks with the relevant authorities in India about what we regard as unreasonable demands for facility fees,” a BBC spokesperson confirmed.

However, a defiant BCCI official said they didn’t make any undue demands and the amount asked was appropriate.

“It is not as if they have only asked for a commentary box. They have demanded a full control room, just like the one our host broadcaster has at every venue,” the official said.

“If you have to create an additional space of 2,000 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,” he added. (ANI)

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