Cricket stuffs it up on domestic radio rights

johnhunt92 Roar Guru

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    The Sixers face the Renegades at Docklands. (AAP: Mick Tsikas)

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    It seems every day you set sights on The Roar, there is always someone fussing about the state of cricket in this nation.

    To be fair, a majority of the content is very well researched, thought-out and correct.

    For that reason I’ve refrained from discussing my views as what I want to say has already been said repeatedly.

    That was until Friday’s report in The Age about aspects of the new radio rights left me dumbfounded considering the state of cricket in this nation.

    I have no problem with Cricket Australia (CA) handing commercial radio rights for international Test cricket to 3AW and 2UE.

    For starters, it’s not a new concept as 2UE in the late ’80s shared the rights with the national broadcaster and no one complained then.

    The AFL and NRL have split the radio rights in the same way for years – and let’s be honest, the appreciation of the ABC has only increased as a result.

    Finally, competition can only be healthy as it will help keep the ABC team from going stale or becoming arrogant in the absence of choice.

    It happened to Seven’s AFL telecasts in the late 1990s and was a primary force behind cricket and rugby league exploring the option of divorcing Channel Nine for a new partner.

    I also don’t mind them giving the Big Bash rights exclusively to Triple M.

    The Big Bash is a shameless money-collecting product that Cricket Australia wants to help prop up revenue at a time when the A-League is becoming a serious competitor.

    I have the feeling that the concept is also better suited to a commercial station that would understand how to advertise and promote in a way the BBL needs in comparison to the gentile, gentlemanly feel of ABC telecasts.

    The thing that made me choke on my 5am orange juice may seem innocuously tiny, but I personally think it is a disgrace.

    When it sold the radio rights to the BBL, it also sold the radio rights to the Ryobi Cup and Sheffield Shield – something Triple M has no intention of broadcasting.

    Cricket Australia – the same organisation that pays Channel Nine to telecast Ryobi Cup matches – then arrogantly asked the ABC for a fee to cover these contests.

    When ABC refused, they were told they could do reports but no ball-by-ball commentary was allowed.

    What a joke!

    The CA describes the Shield and Ryobi Cup as cradles, yet treats them with such contempt.

    There is no way these two comps can command a fee, as the value doesn’t weigh up against the costs associated with it – even for the ABC.

    What the ABC has provided and would have continued to do is give free airtime to CA to get their product out to the masses.

    If they think the ABC will miss it, the fact they have committed to more A-League broadcasts shows they have a nonchalant attitude to losing the telecast.

    It will hurt in February 2014 when the A-League is streamed all over Australia, while cricket has nothing on air as the T20 ‘hit and giggle’ and the Ashes will be completed.

    If Channel Nine have to be paid nearly $1 million to telecast the Ryobi Cup, how does Cricket Australia believe they can command a fee from the ABC to cover a comp most people have lost interest in?

    It’s short-sighted, laughable and should be rectified immediately.

    The A-League and other summer sports will benefit enormously from the increased exposure.

    Only cricket will lose from their greed.

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    The Crowd Says (31)

    • October 8th 2013 @ 10:33am
      Tock said | October 8th 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      OMG I can not find the words to describe the incredible stupidity of this decision.

      The sooner CA is cleaned out the better.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 11:14am
      Adam said | October 8th 2013 @ 11:14am | ! Report

      I can handle abc not having radio rights to all other forms, as long as they hold full test match rights

      • October 8th 2013 @ 12:37pm
        Matt F said | October 8th 2013 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        Fairfax radio will cover test matches alongside the ABC so you can still get ABC coverage. Essentially this deal is a good thing for international cricket as it simply increases choice, not that I have any desire to turn off ABC’s cricket coverage. One thing they have done is take the digital rights away from the ABC so they can no longer stream commentary from their website. However that’s a minor issue for listeners as both Fairfax and ABC commentary will be streamed from the CA website and smartphone apps.

        What ABC really loses is its domestic cricket rights but, given that the BBL is going to Triple M, and ABC barely covered the Ryobi Cup or Shield matches, isn’t a major thing. I’d argue that the ABC losing the domestic radio rights is made up for with the Ryobi Cup returning to FTA TV with GEM, though obviously the Shield loses some coverage.

    • Roar Rookie

      October 8th 2013 @ 11:18am
      josh said | October 8th 2013 @ 11:18am | ! Report

      I don’t remember the Shield being broadcast ball by ball on the ABC, bar the final.

      • October 8th 2013 @ 11:50am
        Stu said | October 8th 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        More recently they’ve broadcast it on Grandstand on the internet.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 11:21am
      w ch said | October 8th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      Yes but the ABC has dudded the Shield for years. When I grew up in the late 70s and 80s if NSW were playing WA at Perth, there was a ball by ball coverage for most of the afternoon. Wally Foreman, George Grzulsich (hard to spell), and the crew there. I assume if Vics were playing Tasmania same deal for them on Vic ABC. But for as long as I can remember in recent times what do we get? Karen Tighe crossing around the grounds nationwide and barely any ball by ball commenatry. What did we get instead? Interviews with women basketballers, coverage of Iron man events and other minority sports. Cricket is the main summer sport here and ABC I suppose to save money just had a few people at each ground giving scores and then doing interviews with sports people from sports that barely rate. So while I agree with most of the article, Shield Coverage at the ABC has been sub standard for years. It’s been a joke in my opinion. Listening to the Shield between tests and getting proper ball by ball commentary was a staple when I was growing up. I am from NSW so I remember Alan Marks and Dave Renneberg along with Jim Maxwell and David Morrow being part of the coverage.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 11:54am
      Stu said | October 8th 2013 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      What I’ll be interested to know is if SportFM in Perth will still be able to cover Shield games. They’re a community station who cover sport and they’ve been doing live ball by ball coverage of all Warriors home games (and a couple of interstate games) for the past few seasons. I wonder if this will affect them? If so, it’ll be a massive, massive shame.

    • October 8th 2013 @ 5:29pm
      Jason & Melissa said | October 8th 2013 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

      Great the 3AW have the Cricket hope Tim Lane, Bruce Eva & Shane McCiness are the three commentators and Dean Jones, Damien Fleming,, Merve Hughes & Rodney Hogg are the expert Commentator and Graham Bond is the Scorer.

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