24 March 2010

Cricket Conundrum

I posted earlier in the year about the proposal to bring the Ashes into the 'Crown Jewels' of British sporting events. This would mean the tournament would be covered on terrestrial television once more. In my earlier post I sounded a note of caution based on the level of income currently enjoyed by the ECB from television revenue. I saw this article today on the BBC website which details the ECB's reservations on the matter. I'm sure everyone connected with this matter shares my dilemma: I'd love to see the Ashes on terrestrial TV again, but the Sky money has made a massive difference to the game. How do you choose between a massive amount of income and a massive increase in the armchair following of the game?

Here's one answer: when the government decides to make a sporting event one of the 'crown jewels', it should fund the shortfall between what Sky and the BBC can pay for the rights. Murdoch would hate it, but the viewing public and the ECB would love it.

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