Written by Sport


Of course there was another sporting event at the weekend – days three and four of the Ashes. But with a poor batting performance alongside poor weather, I didn’t want to dwell on it too much.
The problem is that there are a maximum of 20 more days for me to dwell on it while it remains free to air. When this series finishes, so will terrestrial coverage of live cricket.
In today’s Media Guardian, former director of programmes at ITV, argues (free reg. reqd) that the BBC wasn’t really trying when the last TV deal was struck with all the live rights to Test cricket going to Sky, with Five showing 45 minutes of highlights nightly.
I’m not sure I really buy this argument. I think C4 made a pretty attractive bid, but the reality is that Sky can always outbid a terrestrial supplier – certainly a commercial one. The BBC could raise the bid again, but then runs the risk of overpaying. The truth is that the cricket authorities – namely the ECB – are the ones at fault, and a generation of kids is never going to be able to see Freddie Flintoff or Kevin Pietersen do their thing.
And Liddement also talks about the end of live “Test” cricket. Actually, this summer see’s the end of terrestrial coverage of all live cricket. Twenty/20 is exclusive to Sky, as are over variants of the one day game. And no terrestrial broadcaster is ever going to show the county game (although BBC local radio does a sterling job of covering it).