Friday, 7 October 2011

Save BBC Cricket

Yesterday the BBC announced that they're making a lot of cuts. While a lot of their output is all being reduced, I don't really care about Radio 1Extra, CBBC or rubbish TV like "Snog, Marry, Avoid". What I do care about is the BBC's coverage of cricket.

The BBC and cricket have been intertwined for years, just as the national broadcaster and one of Britain's national sports should be. However, as time has passed we've seen cricket almost disappear under the BBC carpet, with the loss of TV rights, erosion of county coverage, and a general apathy towards the sport from the executives. While TMS still (just about) stands firm, county cricket coverage has been largely passed over to local radio. The same local radio that, if these cuts go ahead, will see all sport output cease from 2013.

This plainly isn't right. It isn't right that people won't be able to hear about their local football, rugby, curling or badminton teams. And from this bloggers perspective, it isn't right that the BBC's coverage of live county cricket will cease after next season.

On a personal level, from being involved in some of the coverage of live county cricket, it's clear to see just how important it is. Sometimes picking up upwards of 10,000 people (who tuned in for the dramatic climax to the Somerset v Lancashire game at the end of the season) all around the world, it is a way for cricket lovers to keep in touch with the matches. It's a way for the ex-pats to keep in touch with home. It's a way to while away the long office hours whilst listening to the excellent coverage from the likes of Kevin Hand, Mark Church, Dave Callaghan and the rest. The live county cricket commentaries is the BBC at it's ultimate best - bringing people together to engage in what is a fantastic broadcast each and every day.

If the BBC do go ahead with their incredibly short-sighted decision that contravenes a lot of what they set out to do in their manifesto, an awful lot of people are going to suffer. First and foremost jobs will be lost, as well as quality programming, which means that absolutely everyone loses out here, just so Chris Moyles can get an extra zero on the end of his contract. If the cricket commentaries are lost, some may continue on a subscription basis, but some may be lost forever, which would be such a shame.

So what can be done? Well, email the BBC Trust at Let them know what you think. Tweet @bbctrust, and tell them your thoughts. And follow @SaveBBC_cricket on Twitter, create a public backlash and let the execs know that they just can't take these services away from us.




  1. The BBC has realised that domestic cricket in England is moribund and broke. Why anyone would think our licence fees should be used to cover the County Championship is beyond me. An 18 county system is a grotesque, unaffordable anachronism. Cricket lovers should fight to create a proper domestic structure - eight teams about right - playing matches that count. The broadcasters would fight over one another to cover a proper competition. Don't live in the past. Move on.

  2. Except Paddy Briggs, I can't see how the live streaming of the County matches cost very much. They sure as hell don't sound like they do. It's one of their charms.

    Besides, what should the licence fee be used for? If the BBC plans to behave like the commercial channels and just cover things that they would, that's the best reason of all for it not getting the licence fee.

  3. My issue is where will it all end?

    The BBC missed out on the Rugby World Cup (a year or so back, admitted) because they apparently became complacent and felt no one else would put in a worthwhile bid. Or is that just an excuse because they knew what was coming and didn't want to spend the money?

    How long before they are putting in paltry bids for the rights to cover the England tests and limited overs matches?

    With the attitude, well if no one else bids we get it, if they do bid, then so what - we miss out and save cash.

  4. Paddy, you've been banging on about this like a broken record for years. Obviously you don't like county cricket. Now get lost.