ABC Refuses To Cave To BCCI Demands, No Live Broadcast Of Test Series In India
The ABC "will not broadcast, or report live from," the coming Australian Test cricket series in India, according to Michael Bodey of THE AUSTRALIAN. In a "major break from tradition," the public broadcaster has chosen not to pay broadcast rights to the Board of Control for Cricket in India or send a journalist. The ABC "was willing to send" commentator Jim Maxwell to cover the series as a reporter, but the BCCI determined he could "not report from any of the Indian grounds as the ABC was not paying for rights." He was only allowed to "file reports to Australian radio from outside venues." An ABC spokesperson said that the broadcaster "would make representations to the Indian high commissioner to protest against the BCCI's decision." The ABC "baulked at paying for broadcast rights, which also sharply increased for this series, after the BCCI and the local broadcaster asked for an additional sum, believed to be in the tens of thousands, for hire of ground facilities including the commentary boxes." The "Indian brouhaha has pleased many within ABC Local Radio as pressure continues to mount to push cricket coverage to digital and online radio." Meanwhile, the ABC's sports department "is increasingly frustrated" at the budget restraints placed on it in other areas, including news and TV drama (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/12).