The SBS televising Test cricket in Australia would be a bit like Channel 5 showing cricket in the UK (oh hrm, that's next year isn't it?)
Still, they got the guernsey (or should that be yellow jersey) after every other FTA network declined the offer. So, on Thursday, Australia's multicultural television network begins its first incursion into the world of cricket.
On Monday, SBS launched its Ashes website, situated at (gasp) sbs.com.au/theashes/. Nothing terribly earth-shattering about it, I know, but they do have a broadband video interview with Arthur Morris to savour. And, I am guessing, more such interviews to come.
I am wondering a little about the lunchtime comic relief on Saturday and Sunday nights. "Under The Grandstand" will go to air live from the Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club in Sydney hosted by the Sandman (Steve Abbott to you). I laughed the first time I heard him on radio in 1993. Can he do it to me twice in twelve years? There's a video preview on the SBS Ashes home page at present.
Interesting point about the SBS coverage is that we'll be taking, in Australia, the Channel 4 telecast of Test cricket from England for the first time. (And, indeed, the last time, as Ch4 lose the rights next year.) As if we don't get enough of Mark Nicholas on our TV screens... Fox Sports will also have the Ashes live, and as always they will have the incredibly tedious Sky Sports crew at their disposal.
It's worth noting that SBS will be cutting away from the cricket on each of the first four days of the First Test to cover the last four stages of the Tour de France.
For background on SBS showing the Ashes this year, read the following:
- Articles in the March 2, 2005 issue of the Sydney Morning Herald by Trevor Marshallsea and Robert Wainwright
- Minister Congratulates SBS on its Ashes Win, media statement by Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, 1.3.05
- Labor congratulates SBS on Ashes win, Australian Labor Party press release by Senator Stephen Conroy, 2.3.05
- The SBS Charter
- Ashes might as well be the charred remains of multicultural broadcasting, an opinion piece by former SBS staffer Emma Dawson, SMH 1.6.05