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BBC bags radio rights in India

February 21, 2006 20:38 IST

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has secured exclusive radio rights for all international cricket matches in India for the next four years.

The BBC was awarded the rights by Nimbus International Communications Ltd, which last week bagged media rights -- comprising television, internet and radio -- till 2010 from the Board of Control for Cricket in India for a whopping sum of US 2 million (approx Rs 2755 crore).

"We believe it's vital for cricket that there should be live free-to-air broadcasting, so we're delighted that the BBC's radio services, including the Asian Network, will be offering live coverage from India," Roger Mosey, BBC's Director of Sport said.

"This will be supported by our strong online news service and by reporting across our TV and radio channels," he said.

The BBC's flagship cricket programme, Test Match Special, will broadcast England's tour of India, with Jonathan Agnew, Christopher Martin-Jenkins and Simon Mann providing live commentary.

Analysis will be provided by Geoffrey Boycott and Sunil Gavaskar.

Meanwhile, Nimbus is trying to reach an agreement on television coverage ahead of the first Test in Nagpur, which starts on March 1. It reportedly wants £5m from English TV and is in talks with satellite broadcaster Sky.

Sky holds exclusive rights to all of England's home games after a new four-year deal in 2005, and has telecast England's overseas Tests for over 10 years.