BBC‘s association with ECB has ended after TalkSport secured free-to-air radio rights. TalkSport are also in negotiations to secure rights for England’s 2019-20 tour to South Africa. This deal brings an end to a 13-year relationship between BBC and ECB. The last time BBC lost an overseas radio rights was back in 2005, interestingly to the same organisation. The rights covers Test, ODIs and T20Is starting England’s first ODI against Sri Lanka on October 10, 2018.
Long-time BBC presenter Jonathan Agnew tweeted: “I think the response to this tweet speaks volumes. I know our loyal @bbctms listeners will be very disappointed and I’m very sorry. I hope I can still provide news coverage on BBC. To be clear, it has nothing to do with @ECB_cricket. SL and WI Board decision.”
Speaking about the deal with ECB, Scott Taunton, CEO of Wireless Group Limited, who owns TalkSport, said: “Winning these prestigious rights is a great victory for TalkSport and its first-class coverage. England’s overseas tours are sure to lure large audiences of fans as we cement TalkSport’s position as the fans’ favourite for sporting news, analysis and live coverage. I’m delighted that we will be with England fans for every ball of the day throughout these winter tours, with our own expert line-up of cricketing stars.”