Monday, August 24, 2009

How to Ensure the Death of Cricket

Update: 'Lets have the 2013 Ashes on Free TV' Facebook group just launched.

Make sure people have to pay to watch it. The following from the Guardian:

The climax of England's 2-1 series win over Australia at the Oval in south London was watched by 1.92 million viewers on Sky Sports 1, a 14% share of the multichannel audience, between 5.45pm and 6pm.

It was also a good day for Channel Five, whose highlights show, Cricket on Five, was watched by a record 2 million viewers, 10% of the audience, between 7.15pm and 8pm, the channel's highest-rating show of the night.

At its peak, Sky Sports 1's live Ashes coverage had more viewers than Gardeners' World on BBC2, which had 1.1 million viewers between 5.45pm and 6pm, and was neck and neck with a repeat of Agatha Christie's Poirot on ITV1, which had 1.9 million viewers. But it could not better the 2.3 million viewers watching Songs of Praise on BBC1.

However, Sky's audience was inevitably a fraction of the peak of 7.4 million viewers who saw England's last Ashes triumph in 2005, which was available free-to-air on Channel 4.
On the final afternoon of the 2005 Ashes, an average of 4.7 million viewers were watching Channel 4's live coverage between 1.15pm and 7pm.

More than Gardeners World eh? Those boys at Sky must be really cock-a-hoop with that.

So the ECB have managed to cut the number of people following cricket live on TV by over 70% following Englands last Ashes triumph in 2005. Well done. Can't have the plebs enjoying it now can we? Next time, please can we have our cricket back?

At least that's the end of any debate about the future of Songs of Praise. If it can pull a bigger audience than a national sporting triumph on a sunny afternoon in August, then there's clearly nothing much wrong there.

Any sarcasm detected in this article is deliberate.

PS: Phil Ritchie has pointed out on Twitter that the 2005 Ashes was won on a weekday, so a weekend audience would have been much higher than the 7.4m watching then.

1 comment:

  1. Spot on David. I posted on the machinations of the ECB chasing money earlier in the year and nothing they have done since convinces me they have learnt their lesson.