Australia news March 13, 2012

Shield final coverage resurrected


Tasmania's Sheffield Shield title defence against Queensland at the Gabba will now be shown on television after the pay television provider agreed to provide full coverage of the competition decider.

As reported by ESPNcricinfo, the final was set to be played without full television coverage for the first time since 2007, as Fox Sports had decided the schedule was too packed to show the game.

The greater number of outside broadcasts required by this summer's Twenty20 Big Bash League and their attendant cost was also a factor.

Instead, Fox had planned to provide a two-camera webcast from the Gabba, with Brendon Julian and Mark Waugh to comment on the match from the studio.

However upon returning to work following a Monday public holiday in Melbourne, Cricket Australia and Fox Sports have thrashed out a deal to show the final in full from Friday on its main channels, relegating parts of the concurrent Test match between New Zealand and South Africa in Hamilton to the "red button" multi-channel option.

It is understood the extra use of multi-channel technology required an increase in the bandwidth provided to Fox Sports by its parent pay television service Foxtel. The webcast will also go ahead, meaning viewers without a Fox subscription will be able to watch the final.

"We are delighted to confirm the Sheffield Shield Final will be broadcast live and in full on Fox Sports and will be streamed simultaneously on the Fox Sports website," the Fox Sports chief executive Patrick Delany said. "We are committed to over 183 hours of live sport from Friday through to Tuesday so it's been a challenge with scheduling.

"But we've worked with Foxtel to enable the match to be broadcast live with coverage of the final two days of the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa moving to Viewer's Choice and available via the red button on Fox Sports 1.

"Fox Sports has broadcast the Sheffield Shield Final live each year since the 2007-08 season and we are once again looking forward to providing live coverage, both on television and online, of one of Australia's iconic sporting events."

Players on both sides were happy to hear that the match would now be televised, and the Bulls fast bowler Ryan Harris said it provided a greater incentive for the younger players in particular to display their talents.

"It's always good when you're on TV, it's always great when you know people are watching," Harris told ESPNcricinfo. "When I read that it wasn't being televised I was disappointed, because I myself in the years I've been in the country and not played in the final, I've sat and watched it. Young guys get recognised if they play well and a lot of people get to know the younger guys and the new guys if they do play well.

"Personally it wouldn't make too much difference because I have had time where I've been on TV and got used to that. But for younger guys definitely it will make a big difference, because they know a lot more people are watching, it may add a bit more nerves before they walk out and play. When I heard it was definitely on TV I was happy with that and I'm glad the right decision's been made."

The ABC will provide a national digital radio broadcast of the final, with local radio stations to offer coverage into Queensland and Tasmania.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Garry on March 13, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    @LillianThomson, I recently watched Pakistan v England Test series which was entertaining. I think you'll find some of the games involving India are probably too pricey for Fox to get a live feed from. The Ryobi Cup was pretty good too. Plus we get footage of the old games (have them on tape anyway). Not saying things can't get better and yes, we could get more, streaming looks a like more accessible medium as well, I'd just hate to think how much cricket I would have missed out on over the last 15 years if it wasn't covered by pay-tv cause the commercial stations wouldn't show it anyway, maybe the 'special time' of 3am.

  • Randolph on March 13, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    About time, hopefully we made a difference guys!

  • Luke on March 13, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    Great news, looking forward to watching alot of the game, wish more shield cricket was on fox sports. Wish the Bushrangers were in the final but as a huge fan of Ponting, as well as Cascade and Boags beers, GO TIGERS!!!!

  • Gordon on March 13, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    This is really good news. However I don't like to be threatened having days ago saying they were not going it show it. I am very pleased that Cricket Australia told Foxtel how it is going to be or else we won't do business with you anymore.

  • Roo on March 13, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    @LillianThomson... Agree - Oz media has been in the hands of a very small group of very rich people for far too long... If CA doesn't come to its senses & allow broader use of important sporting events like finals, then I think that the Fed Govt needs to re-look at all sporting broadcasting as it as integral part of the Oz culture & should be available to all who want to watch it... Two thirds of Aussies don't have cable TV & some of these would be the disabled, elderly, living outside the major cities & cannot afford the cost of pay tv let alone get to the matches which are themselves quite expensive if you go regularly...

  • Justin on March 13, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    @Derick Joseph - Ha, i know what you mean. When i was in India i was supprised with all the cricket on tv (so many games being shown where India wernt playing). Even got to watch one of my fav matches with Bevan hitting a 4 off the last ball to win - it was great.

  • Terry on March 13, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Ah, common sense. The next step is for CA to protect the match in their schedule by ensuring that the Australian Test players are in the country and available when it is played. Either way a 6am flight to the West Indies the day after final 3 was ridiculous.

  • David on March 13, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    There are major problems with Pay-TV coverage of international cricket in Australia, and this just makes it worse. Basically Fox Sports has an effective monopoly and shows home Tests from England, South Africa and New Zealand, and we get nothing else. Viewers in every other Test nation get more, apart from the West Indies and New Zealand. Why can't I watch West Indies v Pakistan, or India v Sri Lanka in Tests? People like Giles Clarke complain about illegal streaming, but here in Australia it is the only way to watch more than 50% of international Test matches. Fox Sports Australia drowns us under a tsunami of Rugby League, Australian Rules, Rugby and Football, but the only cricket they are truly interested as that dreadful T20 "Big Bash" dirge.

  • Augustus on March 13, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    meety - what common sense are you claiming? cricket australia talked to fox and made deal with them which could have only been financial advantage to media group. come to india you will see this everyday. surprised at what? you should travel and you will learn.

  • Cricinfouser on March 13, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    what a circus ................!

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