Thursday, November 12, 2009

The return of the Ashes (for now at least)

Another post on some sport-related activity, however the story is pretty darn interesting and infuriating. We have been greeted today with the news that the Ashes is set to return to its rightful home, the 'crown jewels', on terestrial TV, and all seems to be fairly well and good about that. However, looking further into the story, this national (and international) event has effectively been used as a gold bar, passed 4 years ago to Labour's most trusted media ally, News Corp, and now has been ripped back.

Before we get wrapped up in a proper rant about this which will end up in me being sad at not having Sky, the revenue that clubs and players receive is vital to these entities and their continued existence. Whether it's proportionally fair etc is another matter we won't get into. It seems that the resistance to broadcasting national and club events on premium channels is coming from the bodies themselves, as they seek to maintain financial stability on a grass-roots level. The government doesn't seem to be too worried about this, which is a worrying sign, and there is no mention of any further government investment in grass-roots level sports (of course there wouldn't be, we're in a recession) or sports in any capacity. To put it simply, a fit, healthy nation will be a happy, productive one, and grass-roots are massively important to this. Although the current system in place will obviously take a few years to yield results, there are troubling signs across a number of sports, namely football and cricket, that they are not working well enough.

This continuing lack of faith from one of the only bodies that can actively and healthily invest in not just a business project, but a population, is troubling as we continue to rely on premium initiatives - a lot of which are beginning to lose ground and the ability to captivate minds to more open initiatives. It will be interesting to see over the coming years if this will change in any way, my initial thoughts are no, however you never know if a true representation of the digital world made its way into the sporting world, be it a mindset or a training regime, then we could have something that transforms the way we interact with sports and eachother.

1 comment:

William said...

Interesting post. The ironic thing with the Government's behaviour is that the fit healthy nation who don't have access to premium sports channels will end up staying home on the sofa to watch the event if on free-to-air TV. And then there's also the pubs that rely upon sporting events on Sky and ESPN to bring in revenue.

Alas, there's a tightrope to be walked.

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