I have been shocked to read today that the rights to cover the Ashes test matches on the radio have not yet been decided between the incumbent broadcaster, ABC Grandstand, and Cricket Australia ostensibly because Cricket Australia has demanded it alone will host the link to the streaming of the radio commentary through its website. This, of course, would leave the ABC without the ability to display the link on its own website.
That’s right folks: Cricket Australia is seeking to restrain ABC Grandstand from, in effect, publicising and playing the ABC’s own content on its own website.
I have said it before and I will say it again: James Sutherland and Cricket Australia have lost the plot with this strategy. The traditions of the game in this country include the ability of people to listen to the game on the national broadcaster. It has been so for some 83 years. Surely Mr Sutherland and his merry band can see that sometimes tradition is more important than commercial imperative? Indeed, is not this stance actually also likely to have a negative effect on Cricket Australia’s brand with its most ardent of followers (who listen to the game on the ABC) thereby effecting it commercially?
James Sutherland and Cricket Australia need to wake up and listen to the fans of the game, like me, rather than sound of CA’s ever increasing bank balance and retain one of the longest standing traditions in our game. If not because it is right thing to do then because they are, in my opinion, going to lose more fans than they gain by maintaining their position.