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Tag Archives: tv

Don’t forget, many things slip off the hook when elections happen and the ECB are one of those to have been handed a lifeline in the shape of the general election.  This means the thorny subject of the Ashes and its status as a ‘must be broadcast free to air event’ [the so called ‘crown jewels’ list of British sport] due to be decided this June, now of course will not be.

So there, the ECB will have lots of lovely time to think about how it can get cricket on the free to air box, whilst not pissing it’s purse string holder, Sky, off! How about some domestic Twenty20 finals at the very least?  Worth a barter surely?  And Sky could try to benevolent as part of it’s ongoing Ofcom squabbling?

Sky has been allowed to be the be all and end all of British Cricket, well by the ECB anyway….. and yet there is viewer appetite for cricket on free to air, even if it is not test stuff as had been shown by ITV 4.

Siddle b Flintoff 7. Australia 388 for 9. Andrew Flintoff celebrates his five-wicket haul as England close in on their first win at Lords against Australia for 75 years.  Andrew also becomes fifth man to get on Lord’s honours board with bat and ball.

How many kids saw this moment live?  How many kids saw this moment at the time of the Ashes series?  How many kids actually know this moment existed?  Ok the kids may have been at school – but there were 5 Ashes matches some took place over the holidays, how many kids caught up with Ashes action?

How many urban kids?  How many from the heartlands of the greenfield rich countryside? Deepest Oxfordshire; in a small village called East Hendred. The very kind of place you would expect cricket still to be thriving;  but the view from Mel, of the fantastic Ceci and Mel, of Swanning about fame, paints a rather grim picture even from the rather more privileged areas of the county.  “The people in the village (who all educate their children privately) provide the bulk of the junior cricketers for our village team; those in state education (including my own lovely offspring) just aren’t interested unless they come from a cricket mad family”.

If Mel is not cricket mad enough, then the sport has problems.

She wrote this in reply to a Wisden Cricketer blog on the subject of cricket, TV and the ECB, from March 25th.

Unless they are from a ‘cricket’ family, I’m afraid that all of my kids’ friends are ambivalent at best about cricket. Ask them to name a current England player and most have to think a bit before coming up with Flintoff or KP; most don’t know how to play the game because sport at their school is run on an elective basis – therefore they don’t opt for cricket as they know nothing about it. The Ashes victory last summer passed most of them by.

It’s a real shame as it’s not as if they are not interested in sport – most of them love to play or watch football – but now that cricket isn’t something you come across on terrestrial tv but something which you have to actively seek out on a satellite channel it just doesn’t register on their radar. The highlights package on Five during home games just isn’t enough.

As a consequence, our local cricket club’s junior section mostly consists of the offspring of the senior players.

Shame.

The ECB may be using Sky money for a few lucky children, but the sport as a whole is slipping from the national conciousness.

The time I decide not to watch an IPL match because I’m not that interested now in Deccan or Rajasthan, I find out that Andre Nel has been in the ITV 4 studio, damn!

But lots of people are tuning in, ITV 4 has a bit of a viewership coup on it’s hands.  It is now topping half a million on a Sunday afternoon.

Remind me again – just why is our domestic competition not available even as a highlights package on free to air?

The lure of fee to air TV!  As many people in Britain are watching the IPL as watched the Bangladesh v England tests.

I’m feeling all rose tinted from tonight’s KKR performance – so here is a picture of a rose tinted Murali, playing for Middlesex.

It seems that the Kolkata Knight Riders are the but of many a joke in IPL circles – but not today.  From a dreadful start, and some poor fielding they salvaged quite an entertaining win.

ITV 4 were quite neutral – as in non annoying in their coverage.  So I will give this IPL another go.

It is such a shame that our domestic completion is not available in the same way.  Bizarre even!

Live cricket coverage is to return to the UK for the first time since 2005.  It’s only ITV and it’s only the IPL, but it is a start.  English cricket has plenty of potential niche audiences out there and presumably ITV can see a good inroad to the British Asian community with the IPL, while the BBC keeps with the more slender multicultural appeal of such gems as Formula 1 and snooker.  It is a shame the Ashes red herring has been allowed to keep cricket off free to air for so long.