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This site is primarily about TV and more specifically British television which is among the best in the world at least for English speakers. Yet at certain times, TV is a poor substitute when certain sporting events are on. I am of course talking about cricket and this post will show you how to listen to Test Match Special abroad.
Test Match Special which is more commonly known by it’s acronym TMS is a radio programme broadcast by the BBC. It deals exclusively with cricket, focusing primarily on English Test Matches but it does cover other big international matches too. Originally it was only found on BBC Radio 4 on long wave, but it’s now extended to BBC Five Live Sports Extra and broadcast over the internet. Unfortunately the majority of these broadcasts are only available in the United Kingdom although occasionally when broadcasting rights permit they are available internationally over the internet.
For the cricket fan, if you’re lucky enough to be in the UK then you’ll be able to enjoy almost all of the England’s cricket teams Test Matches, One Day Internationals and even the Twenty20 tournaments.
Cricket has been broadcast by the BBC for many years, indeed it was first broadcast live in 1927. However the game was thought too slow to cover the matches in their entirety. However slowly after some initial trials it was discovered that ball by ball coverage actually made great radio if done correctly. However it wasn’t until 1957 when TMS was launched when this became a regular occurrence for the British cricket fan.
The rest is of course history and for many English cricket fans listening to the TMS team is actually preferable to TV coverage. Although many do try and watch the satellite broadcasts with the sound turned down, it’s not that effective as there is a significant time delay between the two mediums.
Test Match Special is currently broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Long wave where you’ll have to miss bits due to the Shipping Forecast, plus it’s new home is the digital channel – BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. It’s also broadcast via the internet however due to copyright restrictions this is rarely accessible outside the United Kingdom. It is possible though with some minor adjustments to listen to the Test Match Special live wherever you happen to be.
How to Listen to Test Match Special Abroad
Just like the TV shows from the BBC and indeed all the UK online broadcasts, the restrictions are normally based on your location. These are enforced by checking the ‘nationality’ of your IP address when you connect. So if your address is registered anywhere outside the United Kingdom, none of the BBC’s online content will be accessible including the Test Match Special live stream.
So the solution is actually quite simple, all you need to do is ‘hide’ your real IP address from the BBC website and everything will work perfectly. Sounds complicated? Well it’s not just watch this brief video and you will see what you need to do.
Now this is for the BBC iPlayer but it will also allow access to all the BBC’s online content and yes it’s perfect to listen to TMS abroad and hopefully many years to come. After all you can’t really enjoy an English Cricket match without the Test Match Special commentators.
It’s all done by using specially configured DNS servers which will hide your location when you go to a geo-restricted website like the BBC. Instead of routing directly to the BBC site, it will route the initial part of the connection through a UK server (or whatever country is required). This is enough to foll the BBC and everything will work perfectly, what’s more the rest of the transmission is direct which means there’s no speed impact from constantly routing everything through a separate server like a VPN requires.
It’s a worthwhile investment especially as these Smart DNS solutions are very inexpensive. It’s important to test first though as the majority of them were blocked during a BBC purge in 2017 where many of these servers were blocked. For many expats it’s invaluable as you get access to all the UK TV stations including the many BBC channels which you can watch live or through the BBC iPlayer archive.
The beauty of using Smart DNS is that it’s fairly simple to setup on virtually any device. All you need to do is change the DNS servers and activate your account and it will work seamlessly in the background. There’s no lag, no fiddling around and no client software that needs to be installed. In fact after you set it up then you won’t actually realise that Smart DNS is enabled as it does nothing unless you try and access a restricted site.
If you’re a real cricket lover you can also get access to some great coverage on Indian and Australian TV too, Smart DNS will bypass the restrictions on sites like Hotstar and ABC too.
However there’s no need to take my word for it, the nice people at Smart DNS Proxy have provided a completely free 14 day trial. This has no obligation, needs no credit card and in fact is perfect if you just need something for a holiday and want to hear England smash their latest opposition.
Try it out on the link below.