BBC and ECB extend long-running radio deal

The BBC has secured a four-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to broadcast live ball-by-ball commentary of test cricket, continuing a partnership that began when Test Match Special was first broadcast in 1957.

Length of contract: 4 years | Annualised value: US$250,000 | Overall value: US$1 million

The BBC has secured a four-year deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to broadcast live ball-by-ball commentary of test cricket, continuing a partnership that began when Test Match Special was first broadcast in 1957.

"Test Match Special is one of the crown jewels of BBC Sport. We're delighted that it will continue for four more years," said Roger Mosey, director of BBC Sport.

"With the Ashes this summer and then a new contract from 2010, the BBC is proud to be a partner with the ECB in bringing cricket to millions of listeners."

The corporation had been criticised in some quarters for not challenging Sky for television coverage of the national side.  The ECB extended their arrangement with the satellite broadcaster in August, in a deal worth around US$450 million over five years.

ECB commercial director John Perera said: "All sports are finding the tough economic times trying at present and so to be able to conclude broadcasting deals with Sky Sports, Five, ESPN Star Sports and now BBC Radio is very satisfying.

"The BBC's radio coverage of international cricket has set the standard for broadcasting across the world.”