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Volume 6 No. 216
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Broadcast Fees Row Threatens Sky's Coverage Of England's Cricket Series In India

Sky TV's full coverage of England cricket's tour of India "is under threat because of a late demand from the Indian cricket board for fees thought to total upward of £500,000 ($800,000)" for the broadcaster's commentary team to operate within the stadiums, according to Simon Wilde of the SUNDAY TIMES. The broadcast team includes former Test captains Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton. It is thought that Sky is being "reluctant to pay an unscheduled cost." If Sky stands firm, it "may have to either take local commentary," such as former India stars Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, or get its "own team to commentate from a studio outside India." Regardless the outcome, it may be denied its "usual pitch-side discussions and player interviews at the venues." However, there is "no issue about Sky's access to a live feed of pictures from the Tests," for which it holds the U.K. rights. The Tests will begin Nov. 15 (SUNDAY TIMES, 10/21).