TalkSPORT snap up radio rights to cover England’s white-ball tour of South Africa this month in blow to BBC’s flagship Test Match Special show
- TalkSPORT will cover England’s white-ball tour of South Africa later this month
- The station will provide commentary from London studio due to Covid-19 costs
- BBC’s flagship Test Match Special programme has been dealt a severe blow
- It is understood that Cricket South Africa have sold the rights for a small amount
TalkSPORT have secured the radio rights to cover England’s white-ball tour of South Africa later this month – but will have to do ball-by-ball commentary from their studio in London because of Covid-related costs.
The news is another blow for BBC‘s flagship Test Match Special programme, which has seen its commercial rivals land a string of contracts to cover recent England tours – including a high-profile trip to India early in 2021, which may yet be rerouted to the UAE because of the pandemic.
It is understood that Cricket South Africa, whose well-documented financial struggles meant they were desperate to ensure England’s visit went ahead, have sold the rights for a small amount.
Talksport have secured the radio rights to cover England’s white-ball tour of South Africa
The costs both of Covid tests and sending a commentary team to South Africa for a three-week trip have meant Talksport will cover the six white-ball matches from London, with the likes of Mark Butcher, Gareth Batty and Steve Harmison lined up for ball-by-ball duties.
There is also the question of space in the commentary boxes in Cape Town and Paarl, with CSA prioritising host broadcasters Supersport.
The rights to England’s rearranged tour – it was originally scheduled for March – are another boon for Talksport, who in 2019 won the radio Live Broadcast category at the annual Sports Journalist Association awards for its coverage of England’s trip to Sri Lanka in late 2018.
In February this year, the SJA awarded Talksport the prestigious Network of the Year prize.
The station will provide commentary from their London studio because of Covid-related costs