BBC Cricket – The return of live cricket to the BBC was a great success for both the audience and the sport
The BBC broadcast the second England-Pakistan T20 of the series this summer, marking the first time since 1999 that the BBC has shown live cricket and a potential step forward for the growth of the sport.
Cricket was a major casualty when Sky began buying the rights to various sports and placing them behind a paywall, making them available only to fans willing to pay the monthly subscription.
BBC Radio Northampton
The last time live cricket was broadcast free-to-air was the 2005 Ashes series, which some claimed was “the greatest series ever played” and was responsible for a significant boom in the sport across the country. Since he was behind bars, the sport has faced a decline.
Cricket was a big casualty when Sky started buying rights to various sports and putting them behind a pay wall.
Cricket coverage for those who don’t want to dip into their pockets has not been completely blocked, but has been limited to short highlights posted online days after a match or on radio via the Test Match Special (TMS) was commendable, but again there were difficulty motivating them. people who are new to the sport.
The return to the BBC follows a potential “revival” of free-to-air cricket, with daily hour-long highlights of Test matches and two T20 matches broadcast live from start to finish. The decision to acquire the rights to the games comes after last year’s World Cup final, won by England, was shown free-to-air on Channel 4 following an agreement with Sky.
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The first results bode well for both the BBC and cricket fans, there were over 2.7 million viewers for Pakistan vs England, the first T20 to be shown, showing that there is an audience base for more games.
Sometimes years of radio commentary have gotten the better of the commentators who have forgotten that viewers now have the power of video
While this doesn’t compare to the 8.2 million who watched this year’s FA Cup final or the 11.6 million who watched England and Wales in the 6 Nations, it is a positive figure for the 5 million who watched the final of the Cricket World Cup 2019 on Channel. 4. The games shown by the BBC are the second games of the bilateral series which do not build up to a major international tournament, so lower attendances are expected.
The coverage itself was of the professional and slick standard expected of any BBC sports coverage, with entertaining commentary hosted by Isa Guha and including all the TMS regulars as well as current England bowler Jimmy Anderson. Although years of broadcast commentary have sometimes gotten the better of commentators who have forgotten that viewers now have the ability to make video.
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There were definitely outside factors that helped the cover, especially the rain that waited long enough to play the game until it was over. The match itself was also very exciting as England came out on a high and beat Pakistan.
Free coverage of matches is a proven tool to attract new people to the sport, especially young people
Coverage of this summer’s free cricket away from home games isn’t over. The BBC’s new chief executive has expressed his desire to see more cricket on the BBC, but a lack of money would mean the BBC would have to argue that their coverage could reach more fans rather than more money being given to the ECB.
Any cricket fan interested in the longevity and popularity of the sport will want to see the BBC’s new focus on live cricket continue. Free match coverage is a proven tool to get new people into the sport, especially young people. A series that tells the story of cricket. Take a look at how the English invented cricket, along with its etiquette, and brought this glorious game to the British Empire.
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The first episode of Cricket Empire tells the story of the game in its birthplace, England.
The English created cricket, created its rules and perfected the code of conduct for the game. They brought the glorious game of bat and ball to the British Empire as a whole. But England started to struggle when the home team started to play the game much better.
The English game was also factionalized and held back from its own traditions. Until the 1960s, cricket was literally divided between the premier league, the amateurs, and the lower tier of players, the professionals. Even the way the players met the ball had a classy feel, with frenzied outside shots touted in training manuals as a better way to score than footy scores with more personnel.
Empire of Cricket tells the story of cricket in England, looking at the careers of great cricketers from Grace to Hobbs, Hutton to Illingworth, Botham to Pietersen. It also shows how cricket in England was influenced by historical and cultural factors that shaped the game as we know it today.
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Includes interviews with cricketers Tom Graveney, Ray Illingworth, Trevor Bailey, Brian Close, David Gower, Bob Willis, Graham Gooch, Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen. GETTING A PHOTO
BBC ratings for Hundred are down by up to 20 per cent amid a backlash from cricket chiefs overseeing the format’s second year.
The drop from an average of 615,000 per game last summer to just over 500,000 this campaign comes despite the highlights figures from Test matches.
Ben Stokes and the England team now pull in a million plus BBC Two figures – double the current average of a hundred.
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Overall, figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Council cautiously suggest an 18.9 per cent drop in viewership compared to last year’s competition, excluding the two finals in 2021.
Last summer’s spin-off of The Hundred was highly publicized and sources close to the BBC have suggested that there could be a number of factors behind the decline in viewing figures rather than a particular decline in interest in the format.
Tom Harrington, an analyst at Enders Analysis, said: “Up to half of this decline could be attributed to a general decline in TV viewing, with the rest due to some combination of game quality, arcade competition and loss of interest.” in the event itself.”
The BBC’s figures only paint a picture where coverage is shared with Sky Sports, but the pay broadcaster’s viewing figures were not available for comparison. Whatever the reason for the drop in viewership, the numbers will be about the England and Wales cricket board, as the former discovered such a promising start on the BBC.
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Last season, the opening match, the women’s game between the Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals, peaked at 1.6 million on the BBC, with a further 180,000 streaming the game live on BBC iPlayer – a record for any women’s cricket match on the BBC. This year, the Cents’ opener between last year’s champions Southern Brave and the Welsh Fire drew less than half the crowd for the 2021 curtain-raiser – 550,000.
Despite the viewing figures, ticket sales are very good and most stadiums are full for the first game from Cardiff.
The BBC’s total viewing figures were just short of the peak of 1.7 million who watched England’s men’s Twenty20 match with Pakistan the previous Sunday.
The European Central Bank has previously faced years of criticism for locking cricket behind Sky’s paywall. Contacted by the BBC, Sport said: “We are really proud of BBC Sport’s comprehensive coverage of The Hundred.
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“He opened up the world of cricket to a new audience with millions of people tuning in to follow him on our platform.”