Monday, November 16, 2009

TV deals

I didn't know whether i should comment on the current furore over the Ashes becoming a listed event and thus available to free-to-air TV only from 2017 or not. It is one of those things that i feel my opinion about (yes it should be FTA) is probably not the right decision for the good of the game (as in they need the money). So instead of coming down firmly on one side of the arguement or the other i will present a series of talking points. The Ashes is the "biggie" and without that Sky is likely to lose a lot of interest in cricket. That means of course they are likely to want to pay less overall for all the other rights.
  • Which of course means the overemphasis on the Ashes is coming home to roost a bit. But as i wrote earlier in the year it just does have that magic you can't resist...
  • Would FTA broadcasters be that interested in the Ashes if England hadn't won the home series?
  • And if FTA broadcasters are that interested in cricket why didn't they bid the last time the rights were up for renewal. 
  • If the Ashes are cherrypicked by a broadcaster who doesn't really care about the rest then surely that is penalising Sky who have shown a terrific commitment to showing cricket on TV, not just England, but domestic, women's even some club cricket.
  • However putting all of your eggs in one Sky basket is a shame as cricket, with it's myriad of competitions, you would think would be tailor-made to be spread across various networks. T20 for example i feel would be brilliant for C4 if they rocked it up a bit more or even BBC3.
  • Although money gained from Sky would be less there will be the benefit from increased exposure and increased advertising revenue. The ECB are wailing about the end of the world but its not here yet.
  • The next generation of fans need to be captured (i personally became a cricket fan through watching the old Sunday league on BBC2 in the early 1980s) and Sky Sports subscribers are a minority however the minority can be underestimated. It is a minority but not a minute minority.

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