Sky TV poised to get more England matches

Ack, this is worrying news

More of England’s home Test and one-day matches are likely to be available to subscribers to satellite broadcaster BSkyB if a joint bid for TV rights is accepted by the England & Wales Cricket Board.

[via Cricinfo]

It’s just a matter of time, I suppose, before Sky owns all cricket on TV – requiring anyone who wants to watch cricket to subscribe to Sky Sports. Very, very worrying. This will surely frustrate the ECB too who are desperate to promote Sky to a wider audience (but who are so poor that they’ll accept the highest-bidder). Channel 4, the current FTA cricket broadcaster, says:

A report in the Guardian last week indicated that Channel 4 were keen to retain some coverage, but with cricket still attracting what are seen as relatively small audiences, they are believed to be receptive to idea of diluting their commitment.

When Channel 4 bought the rights for all home Test Matches (in 1999??), they said they were commited in promoting the game of cricket – and they’ve done a good job. They have some brilliant, intelligent and funny commentators – far superior to Sky’s [with the exception of Holding and Gower] – and I’m amazed they’ve crumbled so soon.

Just a matter of time now…

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