We were in Vejer de la Frontera, a wee village in south west Spain when New Zealand was playing England in the final of the Cricket World Cup last year.
It was early evening there and we were listening to the commentary on my farmer’s phone as we went for our pre-prandial walk.
When we got to the main plaza I heard some English accents from four people sitting outside one of the bars. I asked them if they were following the cricket, they said they’d tried but couldn’t get any commentary from England.
I said we could get it from New Zealand, they asked us to join them and we sat there in Spain, about as far away as we could be from Radio Sport and listening as if we were at home.
We might be able to listen to overseas international matches in future but it’s unlikely anyone will be able to listen to home internationals and domestic games now NZME hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with New Zealand Cricket for the broadcast rights.
New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s Radio Sport has today announced it has chosen not to renew the rights to broadcast live commentary of New Zealand Cricket’s domestic season (domestic and international matches played in New Zealand) next summer.
Radio Sport will continue to keep Kiwi cricket fans in the know across next summer with match updates, robust opinion, in-depth analysis and plenty of talkback.
NZME’s Head of Talk Jason Winstanley said, “Radio Sport has enjoyed being the ‘Home of Cricket’ for over 20 years and we treasure our connection with New Zealand cricket fans. We have been in discussions with New Zealand Cricket for some time but haven’t been able to reach agreement on the rights. Our cricket coverage has run at a loss – something we’ve previously been prepared to wear, but we’re now taking the opportunity to rethink our offering in this space. . .
This is a business decision from both NZME and NZ Cricket and one the latter might come to regret because there is no obvious successor to NZME.
It’s business, but there will be a lot of fans who think this decision is hardly cricket.