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Why is ESPN trying to make cricket happen?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

They won't cover hockey much but they want this?  Who is watching this shit?


Better of trying to make fetch happen.

post #2 of 15

I don't know, but I find it pretty fucking hilarious.  Cricket highlights on the front page of .com, is there anything that says "we don't know what to do after football season ends" more than that?


ETA- And fetch will happen, once they come up with the Animal X Games, or something.


post #3 of 15
It's because there are more than 3 million Indians in America now and Pakistanis are the second fasted growing group in the US.

It's just good science.
post #4 of 15

It's like soccer, except nobody here plays it.

post #5 of 15
Yeah, there's a cricket world cup going on and it's kind of a big deal to some. If there are two million south Asians in the US, that's not an insignificant amount of clicks for them if they can get that market.

And trust me, they're mad for this game. Never got it myself, but I don't get most ball and stick games.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

So maybe 5-7 million people total who may watch.  That's a very niche sport. 


It took soccer some 40 years to get where it is today in the US and that's millions of kids playing it every year.  Nobody plays cricket in America.  Nobody wants to learn the rules.  And if you tell them(from wiki) this-

 Typically, first-class cricket matches are played over three to five days with, at least, six hours of cricket being played each day. One-day cricket matches last for six hours or more. Cricket therefore has special rules about intervals for lunch, tea and drinks as well as rules about when play starts and ends

Up to 30 hours for a fucking match?!?!  They are trying to speed up baseball because 3-4 hour game are a chore.  Now you tell me I have to watch a game for a week to find out a winner?  If I want to see a championship game I have to take a week off of work.  You could watch the first 3 Seasons of Game of Thrones in the same time.


ESPN is reaching with this shit.  Docs and matches on the main ESPN channel, putting "plays" in the top 10, and front page web coverage is overkill.  Put this shit on the Ocho.


I couldn't find the ratings.  Anyone know?

post #7 of 15

Good lord. I really can't believe I'm defending cricket. Full disclosure, I loathe the game, but I still get ESPN's thinking here.


There's a recent article here about the deal:


 It has the US rights to the World Cup and is offering live streams of all 49 matches for $99 via or subscription services on three cable and satellite providers. 


Figures provided to the Guardian by ESPN show an 85% increase in visits to Cricinfo since 2009. In the US the site on average reaches 1.2 million monthly unique visitors, roughly the same as the websites for the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio.


I promise you, they've paid peanuts for these rights, it's probably some minor sub-clause in the (huge) international contracts they've signed. They'll be leasing the commentary and stat screens from the UK or some other English Language speaking country. If they manage to convert even a small percentage of people interested in this game to stop pirate streaming it and buy these packages their ROI will be massive.


Sure, that article talks about trying to get Cricket20 leagues going and the like... but honestly, these guys don't give a shit if Lardass McTavish from Boston breaks away from the American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey or whatever other domestic only sport happens to be playing in front of their glazed eyes at the sports bar. They're not pitching at that market. They're pitch to Abdul Khan running the corner shop you buy your smokes from, or Rizwan Hirani driving his taxi around New York... or any other stereotype you name :).


They can also scoop up all the limey, aussie, south african ex-pats that happen to be wandering past (a much smaller number I'm sure)


And that stat ain't wrong in the article. This is the second most popular sport on the planet


They're publicising the event on the front page to draw attention to it and hoping to prove to this (yes, niche) audience that they're taking it seriously. At the moment, those guys are just going to be hitting bootleg internet streams... with all the crappy problems that that presents. If they can convince these guys they have a good quality package, they can build up a loyal subset audience.


And if it doesn't work? Pff. No real loss.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by flint View Post

And that stat ain't wrong in the article. This is the second most popular sport on the planet


A bit misleading.  Only because Pakistan and India have around 1.5 billion by themselves. 

post #9 of 15

They do count as the world you know! It doesn't invalidate the stat just because there is a lot of fans in one place. ;)


I think Table Tennis is around number 4, and that's primarily because of Asia, but it's a sport loved across a lot of different asian countries. Just because no-one plays it in the UK and it doesn't get any sport channel time doesn't mean it's not a popular sport around the world.


American Football is the 10th most popular sport on the planet, but that's a misleading stat as it's only loved by x hundred million people in one country. :) Baseball and Basketball have other countries mad for them so they're allowed on the list. Cricket has a loyal following in a good dozen countries.


Here though, tweet stats for hashtag #IndvsPak (on the 15th) by location. India vs Pakistan was the big game in this cup. Big rival countries and two world class teams.



Sure, logically India and Pakistan are glowing like a Christmas tree. BIG community of Asians  in the UK  (so much so that when we say 'Asian' we don't mean people from China, Korea or Japan like you guys)so we're pretty bright too.


But the two coasts of the States are not exactly blacked out. In fact, I reckon outside of the UK you're probably third placed for interest. (Australia is always a weird one as it's a giant empty desolated hellhole of murderous insects... with three bits of civilisation)

post #10 of 15
Why doesn't ESPN cover hockey? I thought that was one of the biggest sports over there.
post #11 of 15
Hockey is also huge. No clue.

My only skin in this game is just trying to explain why espn might be pushing cricket at this precise moment in time. smile.gif

I've got a friend who coaches professional hockey. He always complains about the lack of interest in the sport from the media.
post #12 of 15

ESPN is in the business of talking about the sports they pay to broadcast. They don't carry NHL games anymore, NBC and their sports station have those rights, thus they will not spend much time covering hockey.


Sort of like how they only broadcast Yankee or Red Sox games, thus no other teams are ever mentioned.

post #13 of 15
Wow, I didn't realise MLB was split across different networks. American sports broadcasting is even more convoluted than I realised.
post #14 of 15

Honestly, I think it is a ploy by the sports and the cable networks. It makes fans who want to see all the games buy the Season Pass program options.

post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Why doesn't ESPN cover hockey? I thought that was one of the biggest sports over there.



In the US, hockey is actually a niche sport masquerading as a major sport, IMO. (and I really like hockey)

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