Written by Radio

Talksport Cricket Coverage

Just back from a long weekend with nephew and then parents. In the digitally challenged wilds of North Norfolk, where DAB is limited, and Freeview is just a mote in god’s eye, with just four analogue channels available. The local pub was OK for watching the football on Sunday, but on Saturday afternoon as I was taking the dog on a leisurely clifftop walk, I was listening for Five Live’s football. At that moment, Brian Lara was somewhere in the mid 380s on his way to his record breaking knock. The BBC’s Jonathan Agnew kept us in touch with what was going on, but the Beeb were outbid for the commentary rights by Talksport. Actually that’s not strictly correct – they weren’t even given the opportunity to bid.
Anyway – all competition is good competition right? We live in a market economy. I work in commercial radio, so I know how the world turns. So I tune in to Talksport to listen to an historic moment. Over on Five Live, even John Motson who’s commentating on, I think, Blackburn/Leeds, was more excited about the cricket.
So what do I get on Talksport? Er, football. They don’t have any commentary rights, but they do one of those around the grounds things, where you get lots of live updates from everywhere. Fine. We must be in a lunch break or something. Er, no. Their cricket coverage was being covered on DAB and the internet. Not on AM. Brilliant. They could be building up to a majestic moment in modern cricket, and they choose to cover the football, which of course they can’t do as well as the Beeb anyway, since they have no commentary rights. And then they go into their football phone in!!! Je ne comprends pas.
In fact they only returned to ball by ball coverage on AM at 7pm. Hopefully Talksport won’t be winning any more cricket rights any time soon.