Viewers upset over Cricket’s move to Pay TV

Sports fans took to social media yesterday to vent over no Free to Air broadcast of the One Day International in Perth.

Australia lost to South Africa and Cricket Australia appears to have lost further goodwill with the public  due to the Foxtel / Seven broadcast deal. It was the first time in 45 years that an ODI has not screened on Free to Air -but it was available at Cricket Australia’s streaming app.

Australia collapsed with South Africa winning by six wickets. It was the first time ever Australia has lost seven ODIs in a row.

Foxtel’s big $1.2 billion bet on the summer sport includes 4K coverage, a dedicated channel and new shows and commentators including Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee and Ian Healy.

Foxtel will screen all cricket this summer. Seven will broadcast all men’s Test matches, all women’s internationals, the majority of BBL matches each season and selected Rebel WBBL games under the new deal.

One Day Internationals are on the anti-siphoning list prompting many fans to target the Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield yesterday.

Anti-Siphoning List (Cricket):
– Each Test played in Australia
– Any Ashes Test match
– ODI’s played in Australia where Australia is playing
– T20 Australia match
– Cricket World Cup final if in Australia or New Zealand
– Australian matches in the Cricket World Cup
– Final of T20 World Cup
– Australian T20 World Cup matches if played in Australia or New Zealand

Australia now must win the last two remaining matches, in Adelaide on Friday and Hobart in a week’s time, to take out the series.

Foxtel & Seven have been contacted for comment.

But there were also those supportive of the coverage and streaming, if not necessarily the match performance:

48 Comments:

  1. Remind me again which major national sport is on free to air TV in Australia, or the USA, or England. Reality has been coming for years, if you want to watch top level international sport you have to pay for it, simple. Wait until one of the streaming only platforms takes it, like the major European soccer leagues such as EPL and Champions League.. One account for Fox whatever, Optus Sport, Netflix, this flix, that flix..

  2. First, the cheating… now the privatisation and monetary exclusivity of corporate greed which further alienates the haves from the have nots. One would Have to be a Millionaire to fork out time and time again for all the current media resources. This has God awful ramifications for an already Americanised Australian Culture. As usual… The cricketing base is ignored. Who can afford sixty dollars a month just to watch Australia fail at cricket? I will watch Tests. The rest can get stuck back up Cricket Australia’s pretence of progress

    for profit.

  3. I am confused by the fact that no one knew ……… David wrote several articles just look at related at the top of the comments section!
    FOX Cricket channel to launch in new Pay TV deal

    April 13th, 2018 By David Knox 22 commentsFiled under: Pay TV, Top Stories,

  4. Unfortunately, the Australian TV landscape now sees ODIs as a ‘filler’ product. Not exciting enough to draw huge audiences, but capable of drawing enough eyeballs over a long-ish period to attract sufficient advertising dollars to make it a marginally viable product. In this context, for the ODIs to fall through the free-to-air cracks and wind up as a subscription-only product is not surprising. However, for Cricket Australia it must be a foreboding proposition knowing that international matches involving your premier athletes is incapable of drawing enough interest to make those contests commercially profitable for a free-to-air network.

    The Australian basketball scene confronted a similar conundrum some 15 years ago when pay-TV money gave it a lifeline. Whilst delivering much-needed steady income, the limited viewership that accompanies a pay-TV deal only serves to continue…

  5. I’m excited to watch 7 broadcast as I streamed yesterday’s match and the broadcast was a bit boring but the 7 women’s matches were better.
    I do think 7 can at least simulcast the Foxtel coverage on 7Mate or 7Two so everyone can at least watch the ODI’s and T20’s.
    What do others think??

    • Tv fanatic29 – the Aus v SA odi series are free but with the Remaining men’s & women’s matches + the Big bash you need to pay for the pass. This is similar to 7plus where they blackout the afl matches and are replaced by border security international rpts. I streamed the coverage on ca app on my iPhone in short time & noticed that the game is in good quality.

      • Wait so the ODI’s and T20’s against India and the T20 against South Africa and the 16 BBL matches that are on fox you need to pay to watch on the Cricket Australia app?? If that’s the case 7 could at least simulcast the fox games on 7Mate and 7Two. Also I think 7plus doesn’t show the AFL because they don’t have the digital rights.

  6. I think some people has short memories here. I remember Cricket Australia used to have in there Tv deal in the 90’s is that if there is a ODI or a Test Match in the Capital City, There used to be a blackout after the first hour and a bit of coverage(ie Day night was 2:30pm-4pm). Good thing is that I had WIN TV and Channel 9. So this is nothing new.
    However I do argee that ODI should be on Free to Air TV.

    • I remember. The reason was that they thought that people wouldn’t go to the games if they were televised in full. The removal of that restriction was the beginning of sport administrators realising that saturation coverage was more likely to increase crowds than decrease them. As CA and Ch7 will now realise that reducing eyeballs won’t increase interest, but remove the sport from people’s summer experience. And a lot of it is tied to the assumption they make that ‘everyone’ has either pay tv or a streaming setup, which is a false premise.

    • When the deal was made, all the focus was on Channel 9 losing the rights to Seven, and the change of commentators. This unpopular decision was hidden in the details.

      With Seven claiming their offering would be as good if not better than Nines, it was reasonable to assume that all content would be the same, and of course everyone believed that ODI were protected under anti-siphoning.

      That this could happen was so improbable, that very few considered it possible.

  7. I feel some of this outrage has been blown out of proportion. Here are some of my thoughts:

    Firstly, no, technically yesterday’s match was not behind a paywall – it was as simple as making a free account on cricket.com.au (Cricket Australia’s media arm website) which gave you access to free, live, HD, uninterrupted streaming of Foxtel’s coverage that did not buffer even once. Their coverage was frankly a breath of fresh air compared to what Nine used to dish out – we had no ad breaks during play and a solid commentary line-up. Further, an email from cricket.com.au from a week ago clarified that every match this summer will be able to stream in this manner through their website, even with the option to stream either Foxtel and 7’s coverage for the matches that both will be covering (all Test matches and most of the Big Bash T20s).

    Secondly, there was a lot of warning about…

    • I must explain that to my aged Pensioner neighbours, who have neither a computer, an internet connection, or $50 left over at the end of the month to waste on Foxtel, how CA simply “clarified that every match this summer will be able to stream in this manner through their website”via their non-existing internet to their non-existing PC.
      “an email from cricket.com.au from a week ago”. I didn’t get that. Presumably I haven’t signed up to something or other to get those.

    • the South Africa series is free on cricket.com.au. They’re yet to announce/finalise subscription costs for the Men’s/Women’s Internationals played in Australia & BBL/WBBL. According to the latest app update, a subscription to a streaming service provided by Fox Sports is required. No doubt they’ll clarify all that before the India series starts.

    • I’m pretty sure that u need a Fox subscription to watch on the cricket Australia app. I think this odi series is the only matches that are free on the app

  8. For someone who has absolutely no interest in watching cricket, this is great news. If I have to pay for Netflix, Stan, & Foxtel to find good quality drama and comedy because I cannot get it on FTA, then whats the issue with sport being on Foxtel\Streaming too. Summer is dead boring on FTA because of all the cricket and it seems every yer they keep making up new versions of cricket just to get more of it on TV.

    • We have far more channels now, so there is no reason that both sporties and non-sporties can’t have their choice. Showing an ODI on 7mate would not interfere at all with the programming from all the other channels.

      It is a good thing you are well-off enough to choose to pay for your choice of drama. Many people in this country are not even able to have a fast enough NBN speed to comment for themselves on blogs like this. A basic tv is all they have, and losing a national sport is a very big deal to them.

  9. So, excuse my ignorance, but if the ODIs featuring Australia are on the anti-siphoning list, how have they wound up on Foxtel only? Was it just that no FTA broadcaster wanted them?

  10. This new deal could backfire for both parties. Cricket is expensive to produce, even Nine lost money last year and ratings this year will likely be well down. Additionally, ratings will be lower again given 7 and Fox will cannibalise each others audience. Also not sure how many people will get Fox just to watch ODIs and T20s and if they don’t Fox could lose a lot of money given its low ratings and lack of ads.

    • Absolutely agree about the cannibalization of potential audience between Fox/7 once test cricket and BBL return in Dec.

      Seven will likely rue the decision to not simulcast the mens international ODI/T20 matches, especially as it could have delivered the network some easy primetime nightly wins at the back end of 2018 ratings, instead of running films etc.

    • Exactly. There exists a loophole it appears in the Anti-Siphoning List legislation that seemingly allows ODI rights won by an FTA to onpass to someone else as part of the overall package?

      • Anti-Siphoning laws are such an antiquated thing these days and completely anti-competitive. FTA can pass on whatever they want. They aren’t forced to broadcast sport on the list.

      • Foxtel and Seven bid together. The rights weren’t onsold from Seven to Foxtel – seven only wanted Tests & Big Bash plus some women’s cricket. Puzzles me how the government or Foxtel can be blamed for decisions made by Channel 7

  11. This is the same network that won’t broadcast AFL on the main channel in Brisbane & only shows select events from Olympics or Comm Games on its main channel. It needs to either commit or pass the games on to Ten

  12. It seems that we (those of us without Foxtel or the equipment/time to set up streaming) will be expected to “get used to it”. They are absolutely correct. It will only take a few weeks to forget that summer in Australia used to be synonymous with the sound of the cricket on the TV.

    I may be a bear of little brain, but I find it hard to understand why one channel gives near prime-time to soccer games from a local league in a country on the other side of the world, but our national teams are considered only of interest to the well-off.

  13. what an absolute pack of whingers!
    Typical Australian attitude – wanting everything for free
    sport costs money – if you went to the game it would cost you more then $50 bucks
    but whoop $50 a month (actually you can get for $30 if you haggle with Foxtel)
    if you can’t afford that you’ve doing something incredibly wrong financially…
    but I’m sure they have an internet connection, and over priced phone that also have a monthly price…..
    look around at other countries –
    EPL on Sky Sports UK –
    NZ Rugby and Cricket on Sky Sports NZ
    suck it – more sport on Foxtel please – quite enjoyed 4k and ad free during play…

    • @ tihsamikah – ok, I’ll bite, even though you are clearly a troll, or perhaps this is your attempt at satire, I don’t know. But this is our national sport which has been freely available to the public on FTA up until now. I grew up in far western nsw, as a youngster watching the cricket on tv was what inspired me to want to play. Most people in this country will never be able to make it to a major city to see a game live and an extra $50 p/month is significant for people on low income and tight budget. Of course cricket costs money. It always did. And I don’t care what they do in other countries – we had a great system here, why change it? For network $$$, that’s why. This is another sorry step towards the elitism of sport and Foxtel and 7 have shafted the common fans. Shame on them.

      • Thanks, TM, well said. Putting national sports behind paywalls creates a two-tier society. Surely that is contrary to what CA would like to happen, which is keeping cricket as the national pastime of the summer. Instead it will now be a niche sport.

  14. Of course the $$ offer was a big one but given the reputation of Criclet Australia before the signing it really doesn’t make sense to take eyeballs away from cricket. If they had’ve signed with a FTA broadcaster for all they could have slowly rebuilt the brands image but now they’ve locked it behind a paywall… congrats for being greedy CA!!

  15. The best thing (IMHO) about the cricket moving to Fox Cricket is absolutely no ad breaks during play. No longer do I have to be shouted at every over with the latest offers from hardware stores, food outlets or sports betting company.

    • Have to agree with that one. I was thinking when Warne was busy delivering his rant that he was lucky it was not on 9 or else he would have had to stop at the end of the over and resume after the break…would have been a different delivery that way!

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