Sky balks at ‘unexpected’ BCCI fees

BSkyB has put on hold plans to send a production and commentary crew to cover the England national cricket team’s upcoming series against India after the Board of Control for Cricket in India made an unexpected demand for fees from the UK pay-television broadcaster.

According to UK newspaper the Sunday Times, the board, cricket’s governing body in India, wants to charge Sky more than £500,000 (€617,000/$866,000) for facilities the broadcaster’s commentary team wants to use at stadia in India.

The ESPNcricinfo website said that the figure quoted to Sky is the governing body’s estimate of the cost of studio space, a television control room, audio and video feed plus satellite uplinking from the venues.

The report said Sky’s position is that it should automatically be entitled to these facilities as a rights-holder.

If no agreement is reached, Sky will have to use commentary from Indian pay-television broadcaster Star, the host broadcaster for the series, or establish its own studio outside the venues.

The series starts next month and includes four Test matches, two Twenty20 games and five One-Day Internationals.