How to Listen to BBC TMS Abroad (Test Match Special)

Last Updated on August 29, 2023

This is an old post written a few years ago but gets lots of visits every time there’s an important Test match like the Ashes. Anyway the method below is still the best way to watch TMS abroad in 2023. So if you want to listen to the Test Match Special team, use the BBC app or watch live using your Sky Sports subscription from outside the UK then just look below (video demonstration down the page too).

If you just want to get started quickly then you could grab a subscription for Identity Cloaker – the 10 Day trial is enough for a single test and to try it out.   The subscription doesn’t auto-renew or anything!! It unlocks all UK television too – so you can watch Match of the Day, all the BBC radio coverage as well as TMS abroad.  The web site looks a little old fashioned but their servers are all super fast and not overloaded at all unlike the majority of VPN services. It’s very reliable but works best on a computer or laptop really as you have to set it up manually on other devices otherwise check out NordVPN instead.  (Important for NordVPN – use the BBC Optimized servers listed on the right of this page).

Remember you can watch highlight programs for free using a VPN, they’re on BBC 2 currently just after play finishes (approx 7.00PM BST).  However you will need a paid subscription for the live Sky coverage.  The radio coverage is accessible from the BBC website for free as long as you are connected to a UK server first.

If you want to use a VPN on other devices as well as your computer then the market leader is NordVPN.  You can install the software onto up to 6 devices and they have apps for mobile phones and tablets too.   It’s cheaper then Identity Cloaker but only if you subscribe to the longer plans for two to three years, they do have a money back guarantee though which they do honour.

Listen to Test Match Special Anywhere in the World

Most of the BBC’s radio channels and programmes are accessible from anywhere in the world online, however there are a few notable exceptions.  Almost all sports shows which feature live action cannot be accessed via the BBC’s website when you’re based outside the country, including TMS.   It’s a shame and although occasionally there’s a TMS overseas link for big games, that does seem to be fairly unpredictable.


All looks well until you try and and access any of the live streams from the links, then you’ll receive a simple message stating that the programme is not available in your current location.  What happens is just like the BBC iPlayer site, the web site checks your location and if your address is outside the UK you’ll not be allowed to listen.  You can sometimes access content from the TMS YouTube channel but there’s rarely live commentary on it.

Fortunately there is a fix which will allow you to stream Test Match Special and all sports broadcasts without problem.  The solution is the same for accessing iPlayer abroad and requires you to change your IP address to a UK based one before you connect.  It should be noted that although a simple proxy server used to work for most iPlayer programmes, they don’t actually work anymore since the BBC cracked down on them.  Now for full access to Test match special live abroad and all the other UK TV content, then you’ll need an advanced VPN service like the following.

Listening to Test Match Special Abroad with a VPN

In reality Test match special overseas listeners need to take matters into their own hands, but fortunately there’s not much to it.

Here’s how it works with Identity Cloaker, although the process is very much the same whichever VPN you choose (although the title says USA it works in any country).

When the VPN is enabled your current location and IP address is switched to a UK based one meaning that you’ll receive the UK version of the BBC website and where all the links will work without problem.  Interestingly this also allows access to all the hundreds of local radio broadcasts which is useful if you like to listen to football commentaries from the lower leagues.   If you leave the server connected to a UK one you can in fact use any of the UK TV sites plus watch all the BBC live too.


This is simple to use if you use a computer or laptop to listen to BBC radio but what about other devices like tablets?  Can you use these to listen to TMS abroad?

Here’s a video post demonstrating how to enable your VPN on a tablet – How to Set a VPN on an iPad, the process is virtually identical for an iPhone or any android device.  It normally works much better to set up the VPN directly yourself rather than install specific software.  After enabling the VPN then you can go to the BBC website or run the BBC application and stream directly to your device without problems.  If you use NordVPN instead of Identity Cloaker, then you should just use their app instead.

Whichever VPN service you select, then you can use a single account on all your devices, in fact you can also set up the connection directly on your router which means it effects all devices on your network automatically.  Remember though a VPN will switch all your browsing to UK based, so all your search results will be switched to British ones too.  However you can just disconnect after the Test Match Special live stream has started if you don’t restart the programme (the location check is only at the start!).

It’s quick and simple to use and there are no automatic renewals or hidden charges, plus there are servers in many different countries included so you can even watch sports shows from places like the USA and Ireland too.

  Try the short trial for a few Euros first to see if it works for you –

Click for Trial

25 thoughts on “How to Listen to BBC TMS Abroad (Test Match Special)”

  1. Thanks for this, enjoying the Ashes using the NordVPN thingy. Gutted England lost the first one though!!! The highlights are on BBC 2 now. Make sure you use one of the servers in Welshexpat’s comment as they work well.

    • Hi, Yes it still works fine. You’re right though many of the VPNs got blocked particularly by the BBC.

      These two work fine – Identity Cloaker has a much smaller user base on each server so is never detected. They’re also really careful with their UK servers connecting to the BBC sites.

      NordVPN is much, much bigger so they optimize certain UK servers for connecting to the BBC. If you do try Nord – use any of these servers for TMS or any UK Television channels – UK# 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920.

      When you find one that works really well just add it to your favourites.
      Hope this helps.

  2. What’s up, just wanted to tell you, that this worked great for me and I installed Identity Cloaker on my PC and laptop. Both can now access UK TV and radio whenever I need – I’ve been streaming the Ashes to my desktop. I just need something for my phone and tablet now!

    • Hi Karl – you can use Identity Cloaker on Android and Apple tablets and phones – you just have to create the connection manually. It’s not difficult and there should be a guide for both in the members area. You don’t need to pay more as you can run it on all your devices on the same subscription.

  3. This has worked great for me to listen to TMS abroad – but I don’t have a Sky Sports Subscription. Anywhere I can watch it for free through Identity Cloaker?

    • Hi, you can watch highlights ever day on Channel 5 – just connect through to a UK server then you can watch on the Channel 5 website –

      Not tried it this year but you could also connect to one of the Australian servers and try Channel 7 or Fox sports in Australia. Not sure if they’re subscription only but worth checking.

  4. Ok I’m on holiday in Spain but I want to listen to the first Ashes test. Will this let me listen on my laptop or tablet?
    Plus I’ve got BT sport through my broadband – could I watch BT sports too?
    Cheers buddy……….come on England!!!!

    • Yes it will. When you connect to a UK server all the BBC links will work exactly the same as the UK. So there’s no problem with Test Match Special. Just install the software on a computer or laptop, if you want to use on a tablet or phone there are some guides in the members area when you subscribe. If problems ask their support they’ll talk you through it. As for BT Sport – same applies just connect to a UK server before you logon to BT and it will work perfectly. I’m not sure who’s got the highlights, used to be Channel 5 – they should work too if you connect before going to the site.

    • Hi Sybil, yes they do sometimes. Unfortunately the link keeps changing, so I stopped posting it up. If you go to the BBC international site and select sport. It it’s available there will be something like ‘listen to TMS abroad’ and a link to a YouTube channel. It’s slightly delayed I think but worth checking.

  5. Nice post. So I can listen to TMS on my computer from Spain is that right? Don’t suppose I can watch the cricket too someway?

  6. Hi,

    If I get the trial account does it mean that I can watch the BBC channels online as well as listen to TMS? Does it work with just iPlayer and the live streaming?

    • hi yes, both work just connect to UK server before you go to the BBC site and you’ll get the links to iPlayer and the ‘TV’ tab which has all the live channels.

  7. Thanks for this, I’m missing the cricket whilst on holiday. SO I just start this program and then go to the BBC web site to listen to TMS? Will it work on my tablet or phone too?

    • Yes that’s all there is to it – make sure you select a UK server then go to the BBC site. You’ll see the UK version instead of the international one and just follow the TMS link or select the radio channel (BBC 5 Sports Extra). It does work on your phone or tablet – there are guides in the member area when you subscribe it’s very easy – also link above at the end of the post for the iPad.

  8. Hi I just want this for the Test match – I’ll be back home in a few days – is there a short version? Don’t want to get locked into any subscription or anything.

    • Yep it’s easy to find. Just close your browser then start Identity Cloaker and choose a UK server. Then go back to the BBC page – it will look different as you get the UK version and not the international one without all the programmes. For Test Match Special you can select radio then choose BBC 5 Extra for the TMS link – Hope that helps.

  9. Hi thanks for this, so I just start Identity Cloaker and then I’ll be able to listen to TMS on my computer from Greece?

    • Yes that’s right, just select a UK server then go to the BBC website – you can either listen live or using iPlayer whichever you prefer. You can also watch it on Sky (but you need a subscription) or watch the highlights on Channel 5 each evening. Simply disconnect the connection after you’ve finished.


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