England news January 26, 2012

Giles Clarke warns against internet piracy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, has revealed that as many as 700 unauthorised websites providing illegal streams of cricket matches have been closed down, and has warned that they are "the biggest danger" facing the game.

Clarke made his remarks on Test Match Special after the ECB confirmed a new six-year deal with the BBC to provide live radio coverage of England's home internationals. The agreement, which covers all forms of the game, will run from 2014 until 2019.

The ECB is also thought to be close to agreeing a new television contract with Sky. The current £300 million, four-year deal expires at the end of 2013 and it is regarded within the ECB as essential to the survival of the 18-county professional circuit.

Clarke said he was concerned by unauthorised websites providing illegal streams not only because they undermined rights deals but also on the grounds that they affected the fight against corrupt betting activities.

"We all have to be very vigilant," he said. "There are a huge number of pirate websites streaming cricket on the internet taken from television broadcasts. We and our broadcasters closed down 700 during last summer's series against India. It's an extremely complex procedure, but it can be done and it has to be done.

"That is the biggest danger to cricket, because they take money out of the game without commercial benefit to us. They are being used by the bookmakers as well. The problem of pirate-site streaming is very big for sport."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Garry on January 29, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    And Mr Clarke how can I watch international cricket if I live in a coutry that doesn't show it? Like the MPAA and the RIAA you need to evolve or your business model will die. No longer do TV networks dictate what we can and can't watch and they never will again. Get it?

  • Ben on January 29, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    I watch cricket from online streams sometimes. Because there is no other way that I would get to see those games. Create a legal online stream of international test matches and I will watch it.

  • Nick on January 28, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    Gile Clarke comments remind me of metallica and the napster incident in 2000.

  • Raja Aqeel on January 28, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    capital world! who gives a damn abt poor man's happiness!

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Clarke,Mate there are no channels here in Greece for cricket so we have to go for the internet. just because you loose money it does wonders for the game. Do you understand not only for people like us who can't reach any of the channels but also people who cant afford to pay for it get a chance that's the truth. Cricket's dying because its not the most exiting game on earth, if u shut live streaming sites we will just shut cricket mate. Soccer is the Most popular,exiting and the most played on earth and i can assure you its not hard to switch. And all soccer matches are being broadcasted here free of charge. In the near future we would say stuff Cricket and stuff you, you can have the cake and eat it your self. cheerzz!!

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    You should be encouraged by the fact that people go to such lengths just to be able to watch cricket. It means your sport is popular.

    My experience is that most people only stream the cricket when they have no legitimate way to watch it. E.g. when you're at work or if you're in a country where there's little or no cricket on TV.

    This all means that there is a huge market for your product that you're not tapping at all.

    Start streaming cricket legally world wide so that people can watch games at any time and at any place. If you can't get enough ad revenue for this, charge a nominal fee in the big markets - say in the test playing nations. In the rest of the world, keep it free.

    Instead of fiercely defending your little corner of the world, expand the market. It will be good for the game if cricket AND it

  • Johnathon on January 28, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Biggest danger to cricket is idiots like these who try to get every penny they can from cricket. For a second, I saw "Clarke warns against internet piracy" and I thought they were referring to Michael Clarke, but I realized that the only people who would try to destroy cricket like this are the rich spokesman to Willow and SkySports

  • Nadeem on January 28, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    Wow man, first of all ICC makes all batting friendly wickets and don't allow a great test match to be seen and now they want every body to pay big bucks to watch boring test cricket.

    Test is that boring it should be broadcast free on line through out the world like Bangladesh series on ESPN3.

    T2020 and ODI should be shown on paid tv not test cricket.

    I am not going to pay 25$ to watch a test match and wasting my money. I did that watching WC SF between pakistan and india and it was worth it.

    Test match please do not try to earn my ICC, it's dying product, promote it free.

  • Johnathon on January 28, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Only 24 hour channels suffer from this and they constitute a very small percentage of the ICC revenue compared to other free local channels. In short, Sky Sports and their spokesman Giles Clarke can go to hell

  • Johnathon on January 28, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Looking back at this article, it is very very biased. Almost all news stations/tv stations give free cricket in countries in subcontinent. The only countries where you have to pay for cricket are the European/America countries. Meaning that the only TV channels that lose revenue from this is Sky Sports/WillowCricket. Ridiculous really since they are both English based. Furthermore, this is the Internet we are talking about. It is impossible to cut out every single stream. you can cut down on the streams, but internet users will always find a way

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