And that’s why I don’t like cricket 

18 December 2008 tbs.pm/998

The Guardian: Cricket chief reignites row over BBC terrestrial coverage

The battle of what sports the BBC should or should not cover is one which will, inevitably, never draw any consensus.

However one can’t help but think that Giles Clark, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board has rather shot himself in the foot with his attack on the BBC for paying what some estimate as £250m for Formula One. Instead he says

“The BBC could have used that money to buy two Twenty20 internationals a year.”

Now I know next to nothing about Formula One (bar that bank group Santander seems to think that putting Lewis Hamilton in an advert which includes some sort of “make your own” F1 car kit is a good idea), and next to nothing about Twenty20 cricket.

But I do know some maths.

Lets compare the deal Clarke is apparently suggesting,

In one corner, there’s F1. The BBC deal gives it the right to broadcast somewhere between 17 and 20 different rounds of racing, depending on the year. That’s 20 days broadcasting the race, and 20 days broadcasting qualifying rounds and things of that ilk – say 40 days of coverage a year.

In the other corner, Clarke suggests the BBC could be showing… two Twenty20 cricket internationals. Couple of hours coverage, max.

Not really a good swap on the numbers game now is it?

Now I don’t know the ins and outs of the cricket deal but I am sure that the £300m that Sky paid for the cricket over a four year deal does cover far more than two cricket matches.

But what I do know is that if you’re going to persuade people that you’re right, you need to publicly present a convincing argument. And if there’s one thing that’s not presented in this particular article, it’s a convincing argument…