An Analysis of Past Media Ecology in Cricket

Traditional media outlets such as radio and television were the first to enter the cricket broadcasting world, with the later being quite common in Australia from 1926, becoming a common feature alongside Australian domestic matches. It’s key to understand past media first before we can explore the sport digital transformation further in blog posts.

The BBC launched colour television in 1968, while Kerry Packer introduced colour jerseys in 1977 with the World Series Cricket, moving towards commercialisation of the sport to provide a viewing experience that rivalled that of a stadium audience. This moved away from traditional communication mediums such as newspapers and radio. Through the introduction of coloured kits, a shorter format, floodlights, multiple camera angles the sport of cricket became a product to a wider audience.

Story Image

Image 1 – Newspaper reaction to World Series Cricket

The vast growth of the globalisation of the game and increased engagement, means there has been more infusion of digital technologies in broadcasting, computer graphics and virtual sponsor boards allowing for region-based advertising options during live matches.

India vs Australia 2014-15, 4th Test at Sydney: Michael Clarke gives  emotional tribute to Phillip Hughes at SCG - Cricket Country
Image 2 – Digital scoreboards have created advertising and in-play monetisation opportunities

Other shifts away for past traditional media channels include:

  • TV Broadcasting: From free to air broadcasting, such as Channel 4 during the 2005 Ashes that captivated an audience, Sky Sports have become the dominant party in cricket, with BT Sport most recently entering the market, winning the media rights for the last Ashes tour to Australia. The global reach of the game has allowed the development of technology to provide advanced stump cams, , LED bails, DRS technology, buggy cams, player tracking cameras (as outlined in image 3 below), providing more monetisation opportunities.
Image 3 – Evolution of Cricket Broadcasting over the Years

These advancements from past media ecology of cricket has allowed the game of cricket to become an enhanced product for the consumer, with the product offering becoming even more interactive, the options to further expand the viewing experience are endless.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment your thoughts. How has the media ecology shifted in cricket?

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