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SBD Global/November 4, 2013/Media

Fairfax Radio Secures Cricket Broadcast Rights By Signing New Five-Year Deal With CA

Fairfax Radio "will be broadcasting cricket over the coming summer with the announcement of a new five-year deal by Cricket Australia," according to Phil Lutton of SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Under the agreement, Fairfax "will broadcast the Melbourne and Sydney Tests, the ODI series, T20 internationals and the Big Bash League through 3AW Melbourne, 2UE Sydney, 4BC Brisbane and 6PR Perth." The move from CA "brings it further into line" with the Australian Football League and National Rugby League, which have "a number of broadcasters in each state." The AFL "is called in Melbourne by ABC, 3AW, SEN and Triple M," and the NRL "has radio rights in Sydney with ABC, 2GB and Triple M" (SMH, 11/1). In Sydney, Michael Bodey reported the extension is "a major slap to incumbent broadcaster, the ABC." All int'l matches "will be broadcast across Fairfax’s four major metro stations while the Big Bash League broadcasts will be more locally focused with individual stations broadcasting when two teams in their market play each other." The ABC "has broadcast Test cricket since its first match between Australia and England in 1924." There "is some angst at the public broadcaster that CA has refused to allow it to live stream international cricket online as it has done previously" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 11/1). In Sydney, Barrett & Saltau reported three former Australian captains are set to be featured on Fairfax Radio's commentary team "as international cricket makes a return to commercial airwaves this summer." The alliance with commercial radio "has been in the works for months." It "will be led by Tim Lane, a Fairfax Media columnist and the former voice of cricket on the ABC who calls AFL on 3AW, and Melbourne-based commentator and journalist Bruce Eva, with another Fairfax columnist Dean Jones and former fast bowler Damien Fleming." Allan Border and Ian Chappell "are also likely to be involved, while it is understood the company is also talking to Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and former England captain Michael Vaughan." Eccentric veteran BBC commentator Henry Blofeld "could also end up behind a Fairfax microphone" (SMH, 11/2).
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