How to listen to TMS abroad
  • England’s next match will be against Pakistan on 22 May 2024 at Headingley, and this will be on back on the Beeb

If, like me, you’re not in the UK but still want to listen to TMS, you’re going to run into problems. That’s because TMS and the BBC do not have the rights to broadcast outside of the UK.

Don’t worry though, there’s an easy way to listen to TMS anywhere in the world. Here we show you how to listen to TMS abroad using a VPN that works with BBC iPlayer Radio.

Note from the author: “I am originally from the UK, but moved to New Zealand (my wife is a Kiwi) in 2017. Since then, I’ve been using VPNs pretty much every day to get my fix of Have I Got News for You on BBC iPlayer, Gogglebox on All 4, and most importantly, listening to TMS when England play cricket (not kidding).

I pay for both ExpressVPN and NordVPN and share my VPN logins with friends and family. I rate both of these VPNs very highly (I’ve tried them all!) but think ExpressVPN just edges it… just.

If you have any questions, reach out via the Comments section below or get in touch via the links in my author bio.”

If you ever can’t find TMS or radio cricket commentary when England have an international match, remember to check TalkSport 2, as it sometimes has the audio rights to English cricket, too

How to listen to TMS abroad: Quick Guide

Total Time: 2 minutes

  1. Get a VPN

    You have two main options here. You can try your luck with a free VPN or you can spend a bit of money and get a premium VPN.

    Personally, I wouldn’t waste time sifting through which free VPNs a) have enough bandwidth to support listening to TMS and b) aren’t currently blocked by BBC.

    I recommend NordVPN ($3.19/month).

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    Once you’ve signed up for your VPN you can install it on most devices. NordVPN ($3.19/month) is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Kindle, Amazon Fire Stick/TV, Android TV and more.

  3. Open VPN app and connect to UK server

    The next thing you need to do is spoof/reroute your internet connection to make it appear as if you’re connecting from inside the UK. This is easy peasy. Simply open your VPN app and navigate to the UK server – it’s impossible to miss.

  4. Open BBC Sounds (or BBC Sport)

    All that’s left to do now is open BBC Sounds and listen to TMS. Note that if you’re having issues, I suggest closing the app and/or restarting your device, then trying again (with the VPN turned on and connected to a UK server). I’ve also been able to listen to TMS via the BBC Sport app whenever there are issues with BBC Sounds.

Note: If you’re having trouble streaming via the BBC Sounds app, don’t panic. Switch to streaming TMS via a web browser or the BBC Sport app, and you’ll have more success.

Why do I need a VPN to listen to TMS?

The BBC streams all of its radio stations online. This means you can listen to BBC radio on any computer, tablet or smartphone that has an internet connection. However, this is restricted to UK users only, due to licensing/ reasons.

This is a good and a bad thing. It means citizens of other countries can’t access BBC content for free. But it also means licence-paying UK citizens are also covered by the same blocks

The best way to get around this is by spoofing your IP location by using a VPN. This will give you a UK-based IP address which will make BBC Sounds think you’re accessing it from within the UK.

During previous Ashes tours, the TMS team has made its broadcast free-for-all via a dedicated steam on YouTube, so keep an eye out for that too. However, this seems to have been shut down for more recent tours of other nations.

Will any VPN work with BBC Sounds?

Until recently any VPN that provided access to a UK server was good enough to stream BBC Sounds content. Sadly, those days are over. Now you need a VPN that stays one step ahead of the BBC.

These VPNs all play an ongoing game of Cat and Mouse with the BBC, in order to keep their servers working. This is vital as the BBC has a technical team working on ways to blacklist every shared VPN server from accessing iPlayer.

ExpressVPN employs its own full-time technical teams. And their job is to constantly monitor the connections with BBC Sounds. If there’s a problem they create workarounds ASAP.

Which VPNs work with BBC Sounds?

ExpressVPNNordVPNPIAIvacyCyberGhost
BBC Sounds
Download Speed79 Mbps71 Mbps27 Mbps31 Mbps41 Mbps
Throttling79%71%27%31%41%
Stream quality⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Price per month$6.66$3.19$2.03$1.00$2.19
How to listen to TMS abroad

How much data do I need to listen to TMS?

This depends on what quality you’re streaming. Lower-quality is broadcast at 64kbps, with the best-quality require 320kbps (overkill for talk radio). This puts your best/worst case scenarios at 20MB and 150MB per hour.

David Court
David is a professional journalist. He's been reviewing lifestyle and technology products since 2007. His CV boasts a series of high-profile websites that he's previously edited and managed. These sites include PCAdvisor.co.uk, TechAdvisor.co.uk, PCPro.co.uk, Alphr.com and ExpertReviews.co.uk. Reviewsfire.com is his new project.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. Not sure how you are doing this. I downloaded express vpn and it worked for one day of the test then was blocked. Express vpn told me to try loads of different settings before admitting that they cant support bbc dounds and that the beeb are tighter than anyone. I’m so frustrated..i can listen to virtually any sport on some platform but not cricket. Any other ideas?

    • Hi.

      The same thing happened to me for a couple days of last’s week test. Annoying. This is the first time I’ve had any problems with ExpressVPN and BBC iPlayer in 18-months. I contacted their support team too and was informed they were aware of the problem and they were working on a fix. Which, to be fair to them, they have now done – as ExpressVPN is working with iPlayer again.

      …btw, if this happens again, then I suggest taking advantage of another VPN’s 30-day free trial. ExpressVPN is usually pretty quick at fixing any problems.

      I’m connected via the East London server FYI

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