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Thread: Home Ashes to return to free-to-air TV

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Home Ashes to return to free-to-air TV

    BBC SPORT | Ashes set for free-to-air return

    Very good for the viewers, but not so good for the ECB. Will cost them a lot of money, I expect Sky won't want to pay as much for rights if they don't have the Ashes tests.

    Also a shame for those of us who do have Sky, since they provide such a high quality of coverage.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion that the rights should never have been sold in the first place. It seems a little odd that it's the government and not the ECB that have taken a u-turn though.

    Perhaps this summer hit home hard. England won back the Ashes and no one gave a fiddler's fart. Should see some of the viewing figures compared to '05.
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    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    I'm of the opinion that the rights should never have been sold in the first place. It seems a little odd that it's the government and not the ECB that have taken a u-turn though.

    Perhaps this summer hit home hard. England won back the Ashes and no one gave a fiddler's fart. Should see some of the viewing figures compared to '05.
    Yeah, they're a lot worse. But the ECB would never have made such a U-turn. Their attempts to get some live cricket onto free-to-air TV failed last year when the BBC didn't make a bid for anything at all. I'm not sure how the government can do this, I thought Sky's contract lasted until 2013, which is the next Ashes, but perhaps it's earlier in the year.

    Personally, I think it's a lot more important to get a decent length and quality highlights package onto the BBC than any live cricket. It's pretty hard to get the time to watch home test cricket, but it would be good to have highlights at a time in the evening when kids can be watching.

    Edit: The BBC has updated their article. It now says this would start in 2017.
    Last edited by four_or_six; 12-11-2009 at 06:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Cricket Spectator flfooty's Avatar
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    this is good news!

    all pay tv is a rip off!


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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by four_or_six View Post
    Yeah, they're a lot worse. But the ECB would never have made such a U-turn. Their attempts to get some live cricket onto free-to-air TV failed last year when the BBC didn't make a bid for anything at all. I'm not sure how the government can do this, I thought Sky's contract lasted until 2013, which is the next Ashes, but perhaps it's earlier in the year.

    Personally, I think it's a lot more important to get a decent length and quality highlights package onto the BBC than any live cricket. It's pretty hard to get the time to watch home test cricket, but it would be good to have highlights at a time in the evening when kids can be watching.

    Edit: The BBC has updated their article. It now says this would start in 2017.
    I think the figures for the current highlights on Five show that they don't really work as far as stimulating interest goes. I certainly didn't get interested in cricket by watching highlights anyway. Live sport has always been where it's at for me, although that might be a personal thing.

    You could say that the sub-standard coverage is affecting the viewing figures, but the thought of Nicholas and Boycott commentating never stopped anyone from tuning in when it was all on Channel 4.

    Now what we have to wonder is how much the landscape will have changed by the time this comes into effect. It's eight years away, it might have gotten to the stage where it makes no difference.

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    All Test cricket should be free to air TV. ECB took short term profit over long term health of the game. I saw a survey where students in school ranked cricket as #22!
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    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    All Test cricket should be free to air TV. ECB took short term profit over long term health of the game. I saw a survey where students in school ranked cricket as #22!
    A terrestrial return would cripple English cricket | Opinion | Cricinfo Magazine | Cricinfo.com

    Like those bogbrush-haired fools Jedward on another of terrestrial TV's gems, X Factor, there is often a subtle distinction between the best and the most popular.

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    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Less money and popular > More money less popular. That more money would be temporary because the level of interest would go down and the money would eventually dry up too.

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    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Less money and popular > More money less popular. That more money would be temporary because the level of interest would go down and the money would eventually dry up too.
    Personally, I don't agree. Everyone plays football, everyone talks about the Premiership all the time, all the kids want to be Steven Gerrard and so on. And that's all on Sky.

    I'd be worried that if the Ashes went free-to-air and the ECB lost ~25% of their income then the players would just rather play the IPL instead. I'd also be upset if they weren't able to subsidise the clubs and womens cricket as much.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    This is where I'm coming from, too. I am very worried about what this idea might do to County finances. Making the Ashes free to air only will then massively deflate the value of the other Test series that now sell as part of the package. We could lose millions over this, which will knock on into the grass roots either having to charge families more to participate or simply cut down on sessions. We have a 14 week winter programme for Youth squads in Oxfordshire this winter - more than double what it was in previous years.

    We can't play 1970s idealistic politics in a 21st century consumer market. Sky coverage is absolutely fantastic and IMO miles ahead of any other country, and we're going to piss that away for what? People who don't give a crap the rest of the year to spend one summer in four watching? Participation numbers are massively up because of Chance to Shine and Spirit of Cricket making things accessible. The women's game is the best in the world. That all runs through Sky, who fund massive amounts of coaching development to boot. The ECB know far better what's good for the whole game than the government. Get your hands off.
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Thanks Pickup. Saves me having to expand on my lazy post earlier.
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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Absolute ****ing disgrace.

    Meddling at its worst. Unless there is a sustantial compensation package then this is fair to noone.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm in the pro-Sky camp on this one too. Even leaving aside the money, they've been good for cricket in the UK; no channel showed any interest in showing our away tests live before they came along and we're also treated to tests not featuring England from around the globe live now too. The BBC or ITV couldn't even be arsed to bid for a highlights package of home tests. It's clear which broadcaster has done more for the sport.

    f_or_s raises an interesting point about the Premiership too; all its live games are on Sky or ESPN, but association football has never been more popular in the country. Back in the pre-Prem era I would guess the live Div 1 (as was) games that ITV or BBC showed got higher viewing figures, but those alone didn't translate into as much (popular) cultural significance.

    There's no doubt that our 2009 win didn't have the impact that 2005 did, but that's not entirely due to the host broadcaster. Our 2005 victory was our first since 86/7 and the series was, objectively, a better contest. I'd disagree with Uppercut that no-one gave a toss about it tho; our win was still reported on the front pages rather than the back and was the lead story on the news programs of the day too, silly season as it may've been.
    Last edited by BoyBrumby; 12-11-2009 at 04:47 PM.
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    There has to be some live cricket on terrestrial. Otherwise there will be significant numbers of people who have been exposed to the sport. I would however say that things like World Cups are more suited to being on TV than Tests.
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    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaly piscine View Post
    There has to be some live cricket on terrestrial. Otherwise there will be significant numbers of people who have been exposed to the sport. I would however say that things like World Cups are more suited to being on TV than Tests.
    This. I don't understand why they don't put the T20 cup or something out for tender from terrestrial.

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