Blackout likely for WIndies
28 Nov 2007
By: Liam Camps
Cricket fans in the Caribbean are likely to face a blackout for the West Indies tour of Zimbabwe, which starts on Friday.
West Indies will play five one-day internationals against Zimbabwe between November 30 and December 9, and there is uncertainty surrounding the availability of television and radio coverage for the series. SportsMax, based in Jamaica, holds the rights to all West Indies overseas tours, but has not yet finalized broadcast arrangements for the tour.
Managing director of the cable company, Oliver McIntosh stated that it would be a "50-50" chance that the matches would be shown by SportsMax. McIntosh cited issues with broadcast quality as well as the short notice of the tour as reasons behind the problematic decision.
The tour was not finalized until recently, as security and food integrity were major worries facing the West Indian powers that be. "It's about 50-50. The problem is the lateness of the tour," McIntosh said. "The announcement of it was very late. It is tough. We already have our content and spending set for the year. This is a cost venture."
"If we carry it, it will be more for content and less for commercial purposes. It is essentially a cost to carry it," he told the Nation
Commenting on the issue at hand, Caribbean Media Corporation CricketPlus producer, Adriel Richard said that his company is not at liberty to provide coverage, as the broadcast rights are the property of SportsMax.
SportsMax has already committed to broadcast the West Indies tour of South Africa, staged subsequent to the Zimbabwe tour.