The Ashes? No one cares, said Nine
I suppose I am in a fairly biased position here but if all the FTA TV stations were given the chance to buy the Ashes and they declined, which left Fox Sports able to buy the rights, why are they all whingeing now?
"If the loophole is not closed the precedent set here will mean that more events will be siphoned to pay-TV and that three out of four Australians who do not subscribe to pay-TV will be deprived of free coverage of an increasing number of major sporting events," Free TV Australia chief executive Julie Flynn said.
What loophole? According to the company that sells the television rights on behalf of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Octagon, the FTA stations were given ample opportunity.
"The simple truth of the matter is that the FTA (free-to-air) broadcasters were given several opportunities to acquire the rights to the 2005 Ashes series, but all declined to do so on numerous occasions for a variety of reasons,"
Seems like a ton of sour grapes to me. This Ashes tour is going to be one of the best in recent times with Australia ranked number one and England number two in the world. I think there might be a few late nights over the coming winter for myself.
Although, if England were still at their shit form of the mid 90s I don't think anyone would care.
As an aside, I found on the Free TV Australia website this report into television advertising revenues for July-December 2004. I wonder if it includes product placement fees for shows like The Block, Big Brother, Australian Idol and any of the other 'reality' shows?