Is this the end for Channel 9 and cricket?

Brian Zhang Roar Rookie

By Brian Zhang , Brian Zhang is a Roar Rookie


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    The end of the 2012/13 Australian Summer may have been the last of Channel 9’s 35-year broadcast of cricket in Australia.

    Nine are set to broadcast the Ashes later this year but their seven-year deal with Cricket Australia to broadcast Test matches, ODIs and T20s has now expired.

    Rivals Network Ten are hard at work to grab the rights.

    If Channel Ten are successful with the deal, it may see the end of longtime commentators in Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and possibly Ian Chappell time in the commentary box.

    The other commentators in Mark Nicolas who works with Channel 5 in England, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Michael Slater and James Brayshaw may all make the move to Channel Ten alongside recently retired Michael Hussey, Brett Lee and recent Hall of Fame inductee Glenn McGrath.

    During this season, the lost of Tony Greig has really left a massive hole in the Channel 9 commentary team. With Bill Lawry only calling games in Melbourne and Richie Benaud losing his touch, it just hasn’t been the same commentary team that once was probably the best in the world.

    The replacement commentators in Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, and James Brayshaw, have produced mixed results.

    It will be very interesting to see the technology that Channel Ten have to offer and whether it matches what Channel Nine had.

    In terms of technology, cameras and audio, Channel Nine probably had the best in the world which included the likes of hotspot, snicko, super slow motion replays, Hawkeye and virtual eye, protractor and the newly introduced nine360 cam.

    It has been 35 years since Kerry Packer secured the rights for Channel 9 to broadcast international cricket in Australia.

    However, with Tony Greig sadly passed, Bill Lawry and Richie Benaud nearing their end, it is time for the new generation of commentators to take over, a new network and a new era to begin.

    Some of the best Channel 9 moments:

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    The Crowd Says (49)

    • February 18th 2013 @ 11:33am
      Johnno said | February 18th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      I hope so I’m so sick of channel 9 and Ian chapel and Bill lawry. So out of touch with modern cricket, and so old there boring now. Should of retired both of them 10 years ago. There out of date cricket stories that bear no resemblance to modern cricket is tiresome.
      Glen Mcgrath has freshened things up a lot, and has been a good addition to the channel 9 team. He will go to 10 hopefully.
      Ian Healy and Mark Taylor are trapped in the 90’s too.

      • February 19th 2013 @ 1:52am
        AndyMack said | February 19th 2013 @ 1:52am | ! Report

        Still on this bandwagon hey johnno. Ian Chappel is one of the most knowledgable and forward thinking people in cricket. He may not always be on the money (in my opinion of course), but he is very well respected around the world. And Bill is just Bill, im amazed that anyone does not like hearing his voice when the cricket is on.

      • February 26th 2013 @ 9:14pm
        debbie said | February 26th 2013 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

        I really dont care who commentates. Does it matter when we cant even watch our own country play overseas.

        What is disgusting is the fact that our country is overseas playing cricket and we cant watch it as it’s not televised.

        Fine if you have FOXTEL or AUSTAR.

        What about those of us that only have normal tv.

        Maybe if another channel picks up the cricket we might get to watch our guys play.


        • January 5th 2014 @ 8:31am
          Rosco said | January 5th 2014 @ 8:31am | ! Report

          Bill, Ritchie ian Chappell and Greigy all spoke about the cricket. Michael Slater thinks he is on a comedy audition (which he would fail) and the others go along with him. It is woeful, annoying and undignified. Slats was a great person to watch bat, but as a commentator .. 1/10.

    • February 18th 2013 @ 11:39am
      Don Corleone said | February 18th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

      “Mark Nicolas who works with Channel 5 in England, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Michael Slater and James Brayshaw may all make the move to Channel Ten”

      I hope and pray NONE of the above make the move to Ten. They’re part of the problem…you’d just be transferring Nine’s stagnant, out-of-touch approach to the game.

      I would love to see Ten get the cricket and provide a fresh perspective to the coverage and improve on Nine’s technological component which is quite good.

    • Roar Guru

      February 18th 2013 @ 11:40am
      Rabbitz said | February 18th 2013 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      I doubt another network would pick up any of the current commentary team.

      If you are the new broadcaster, you want to make the telecasts your own, the last thing you would want is to rehash the failed networks coverage.

      A new broom sweeps clean…

      • February 18th 2013 @ 12:07pm
        Don Corleone said | February 18th 2013 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

        If Ten were to poach using a recent survey gauging the most popular cricket commentators, Damien Fleming, Kerry O’Keeffe and Shane Warne would be signing on the dotted line.

      • February 18th 2013 @ 12:08pm
        Matt F said | February 18th 2013 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        It wouldn’t surprise me to see one or two of them picked up. If you look at th AFL (I use them as they’re the only real major spot to swap networks rather often) there are a few commentators that have swapped between networks depending on who has the rights. They wouldn’t take too many but one or two wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

        • February 18th 2013 @ 2:48pm
          john hunt said | February 18th 2013 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

          Mark Nicholas and Mark Taylor are the only ones who I think would go across. Maybe Ten or Seven might go for an ABC like broadcast with a professional commentator and an expert (i.e. like Jim Maxwell partnered with Damien Fleming)

          • February 18th 2013 @ 3:13pm
            Johnno said | February 18th 2013 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

            No not tubby or Marc Nicholas. Both out of touch and trapped in the 90’s and so parochial. No tubby, heals, none of the nine team except Brett Lee and Mcgrath.

    • February 18th 2013 @ 2:46pm
      john hunt said | February 18th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

      According to the Australian, there will be changes in the Nine box next year and there may be a few surprises.

    • February 18th 2013 @ 3:28pm
      jameswm said | February 18th 2013 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

      Skull for the comedy (though it might not work so well on TV).

      Mark Waugh is I think the best commentator we have. And BJ is a better host than Mark Nicholas.

      McGrath and Warnie were smart cricketers.

      Lee, Slats and Tubs are only OK. Healy used to be good, but he’s a network child now.

      I’d be happier with:
      Brendon Julian as host
      Damien Fleming, the bowlologist
      Mark Waugh
      Glenn McGrath
      Warnie every now and then
      I guess you need an older guy to appeal to other generations. Can’t really think who though.

      • February 18th 2013 @ 3:52pm
        Johnno said | February 18th 2013 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

        jameswm why do you need an old guy to appeal to older generations.
        Do men in there 50’s prefer to be told what to do about there cricket by a 35 yr old or a 55 yr old. I don’t know you tell me.

        I don’t enjoy having to put up with a baby boomer generation in his 50’s Marc Nichollas, heck a 48 yr old Mark Taylor annoy;s me.

        Power to people in there 20’s and 30’s I say, we rule the world, middle age codgers should not be seen or heard.

        • February 18th 2013 @ 4:57pm
          Don Corleone said | February 18th 2013 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

          My commentary team suggestions would be:-

          Damien Fleming
          Shane Warne

          Jim Maxwell
          Quentin Hull

          Kerry O’Keefe
          Glenn McGrath
          Tom Moody
          Lisa Sthalekar

        • February 18th 2013 @ 10:28pm
          Adam said | February 18th 2013 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

          its not so much got to do with the age of the commentators, its the ones channel 9 hire are morons, part of a boys club. who have gotten the job just of having played cricket and is a mate of one of the production staff. Healy & Taylor, are the two stand outs who should not be in there, struggle to actually give any intelligent knowledge on the game play, but prefer to carry on like a pack of clowns. Slater is ok provided he is with one of the older, commentators.

          the commentory team on fox work really well minus mark waugh!, julian, border, Flemming blewett & symonds seem to click really well & know what there talking about with out being stale

        • February 19th 2013 @ 8:08am
          Brendon said | February 19th 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report

          Cmon Johnno, one post is enough, you’re opinion while valid is not made stronger by multiple posts.

      • February 19th 2013 @ 1:55am
        AndyMack said | February 19th 2013 @ 1:55am | ! Report

        “Slats is OK”???

        Surely the worst commentator in history.

        • February 19th 2013 @ 1:08pm
          Matt said | February 19th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

          Agreed, he an Healy make me not want to watch cricket.

          Of the current channel 9 team, I like Warne, Brawshaw, Lee, Hussey and Nicolas. The rest poach from Fox as there coverage is miles better in terms of cometary

        • Roar Guru

          February 19th 2013 @ 2:57pm
          TheGenuineTailender said | February 19th 2013 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

          AndyMack, I have to disagree, James Brayshaw is by far the worst commentator in history. Matt, why you would like him is lost on me.

          • February 22nd 2013 @ 8:29am
            micka said | February 22nd 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

            I like Brayshaw. Not sure why, but I like him.

            • February 22nd 2013 @ 1:49pm
              Dean said | February 22nd 2013 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

              I think James Brayshaw calls the footy on Triple M better than he does the cricket.

    • February 18th 2013 @ 3:38pm
      Pope Paul VII said | February 18th 2013 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

      Not that he’d do it but Dennis Cometti was an excellent cricket commentator back in the day.

      I must be the only one but I don’t mind Mark Nicholas.

      James Brayshaw is diabolical.

      • February 19th 2013 @ 1:56am
        AndyMack said | February 19th 2013 @ 1:56am | ! Report

        you are not the only one. He is the only commentator with a bit of class.