Wednesday, 12 March 2014

TV Coverage of Women's #WT20

The ICC have officially confirmed that live TV coverage of the Women's World T20 will be limited to the semi-finals and final - just 3 of the 27 games which comprise the competition. Instead, there will be brief (3 minutes) highlights of all games made available on-line.

Having spoken to a couple of sources, the reasons for this are slightly convoluted, albeit familiar to anyone who follows this blog and is au fait with the situation regarding broadcast rights for women's cricket in England.

Basically, the rights to the entire tournament (men's and women's) were sold as a single, exclusive package. Having purchased that package, the rights-holder (Star Sports*) made the commercial decision not to cover the women's group games; and because the contract is exclusive, that meant no one else could either.

When they sell the broadcast rights, the one right the ICC retain is to sell brief highlights packages to news organizations; and it is those highlights which we will be seeing - their brevity reflecting the terms of the ICC's retained rights, which are really intended for use in news bulletins.

This is obviously a massive disappointment to women's cricket fans who want to follow their teams; and (you'd assume) the players themselves, who would have been hoping to showcase their sport on one of cricket's biggest stages.

What this emphasizes (yet again) is the folly of selling the men's and women's rights as a single package. The men's rights are obviously where the big money is, and I doubt Star Sports would have paid a penny less for just the men's tournament; which could have meant the BBC (or someone) stepping in for the women's tournament and actually providing the coverage which the fans desperately want.

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* I believe!

5 comments:

  1. It's somewhat frustrating (to say the least) that I could watch more live coverage of matches from the qualifying tournament in Ireland last year than I will be able to from the tournament proper.

    I'm afraid I can't see the BBC picking it up with the pressure on their budgets.
    One of the little mentioned impacts of BBC3 being axed is that there will be less sport on UK free-to-air TV.
    Their coverage of the women's European Football Championships last year was the most it ever had got on free-to-air telly.

    I do think that other broadcasters would have been interested if the rights to the women's World T20 had been available separately though. Eurosport would have been likely I'd have thought.

    What coverage is the tournament going to get on the radio BTW? Presumably TMS are at least covering all England's games and the final knockout stages.

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    Replies
    1. I did ask around re. TMS coverage, but no one answered; and there is no indication on the BBC web site that the w's games will be covered. Read into that what you will :-(

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    2. Officially confirmed - no TMS coverage of w's group games - just 'regular updates'. Disappointing.

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    3. Unbelievable.
      I was resigned to the TV coverage being less than optimal but that news for the radio broadcast is a real kick in the teeth.

      Seems like they're throwing away the potential for further growth that the successful coverage of the Ashes generated.

      Thanks for the update nevertheless.

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  2. So the ICC sell a contract which (a) allows the contract purchaser to pick and choose whether the women's group matches should be broadcast and (b) prevents anyone else from providing that service if Star Sports* won't provide it.
    Tells one everything one needs to know about the ICC. What a bunch of !!?"£$%^&*&^%$£"ers.

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