What exactly is in cricket that makes it so big in terms of money. No more than 10-15 countries world wide are involved in this game but still it has made its officials one of the richest among its counterparts of other game. A game, which is played for 5 straight days but still manages to make people leave their job and find interest in it...
I am sorry but I can't answer that. What I can tell you is that its getting tougher and tougher for its lovers to keep loving it. Following will be little painful for you but is a truth..
When Indian cricket team went to Pakistan in January 2006, cricket fans of my country went mad as they couldn't see the live telecast of the matches... For we Indians, cricket doesn't get bigger than a India vs Pakistan match. The problem was that a channel called Tensports had taken the telecast rights, which was available to a very very few people. Doordarshan(A free to air channel) did its bit to get the pictures, but failed to telecast the Test matches. They got the ODI series at least, and that matter seems to be finished now, as just two more one day internationals remain - as I write this..
But believe me, cricket fan all over the world are going to have a tough time from now on, as cricket is becoming bigger and Live telecast has become a huge money factor. Bigger than it ever has ever been. Read on..
Australia won the VB series and now they will travel to South Africa for a tour of ODI series and Test matches. In Australia, free to air channels like "Channel 9" has been showing the cricket matches for a long long time but this South African series, will be live on FOX SPORTS, which is not free.. So if you are an Australian cricket fan, you better get this channel if you want to see how South African croud reply to your team!!
What about West Indies - They have travelled to New Zealand for a series of five one day internationals and then three test matches. These matches will not be free for cricket fans in Caribbean. The channel - "TV-8" will be showing the matches. Here is more for you if you are concerned..
What about England?? The have just landed here in India and will be playing Three test matches and then a series of 7 ODIs'. I am not sure of what deal is going on in UK, but I tell you this - the upcoming Ashes series will not be shown on free to air channels... as it has been happening all those past years. Check out these two stories (story 1 and story 2) to know what kind of problem you are in, if you are an English cricket fan..
And what about the cricket crazy people of my country - India?? Well, England has come, so we can expect Doordarshan to show us the matches as it will be a home series. But after that, whenever our team goes out on a tour, don't bank on Doordarshan to show you the cricket matches. For example, In May 2006, our team will travel to West Indies for three test matches and 7 One day internationals, and Tensports will again come in between. They have reserved the rights of Live Telecast, and this time, Doordrashan will have no say in it. If you are hoping that by that time, Our local cable operators will start beaming Tensports to our home, you most probably be wrong. The reason I say this is - As Doordarshan got the signal from Supreme court to share the pictures with Tensports of the ODI series in Pakistan, our Cable operators again dumped Tensports.
Now Tensports is creating lots of problem for Indian cable operators, as they have dumped them many a times when Doordarshan shared the Live cricket matches. Tensports has asked the cable operators to increase their members and also the fees in order to have their pictures. The reason behind this condition is that Tensports comes neither on Dish Tv or other methods. They only come through cable operators and thats why they want to make sure that their viewership is increased. When Team India plays in India or in sub-continent, Doordarshan shows the crucial matches and thus, cable operators find a way out of Tensports. But when West Indies series will start - there will be no Doordarshan. It will be just TENSPORTS OR NO SPORTS FOR WE INDIAN CRICKET FANS..
For schedule, live telecast, timing and other informations about India's 2006 tour of West Indies, read this.