For a third of a century, Australia’s Channel Nine has been, to use its long-running advertising slogan, Still The One for telecasting international cricket. This maybe soon to come to an end. Next March, following the end of the 2012-13 domestic Australian season, the current contract to televise Cricket Australia’s home fixtures in Australia will expire. The Nine Network, holders of those rights continuously since 1979, are currently in a battle to avoid entering administration.
The first episode of the two-part miniseries "Howzat: Kerry Packer's War" went to air on Channel 9 at about 8.40pm on Sunday night, August 19, 2012. Until I complete a review following the conclusion of episode 2 on August 26, here's a storification of my tweets from the evening plus some others:
Creative writers from the highly-leveraged Channel Nine's publicity department have been spruiking the announcement yesterday that the Haunted House of Packer will be televising next year's Why It Looks Like My Uncle Oscars on February 23 for, in their words, "the first time" in Australia.
Those of us who remember "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" cleaning up the WILLMOOs live on Channel Seven in March 1976 will know otherwise.
Your heart must be bleeding as much as mine for CVC Asia Pacific, the private equity company that recently bought a 50% stake in PBL, the owners of the Nine Network in Australia. Just think of all that lost advertising revenue because the Fourth Test finished two days early.
Do you think Ricky Ponting has enough confidence in his team? How big a target will he set England before he can breathe easily at the thought that the opposition can't win? Will 700 be enough? Maybe he'll bat till tea-time Sunday and hope that even Australia's bowlers can contain Strauss and Cook to less than 800 runs in four sessions.
"There is a problem with gambling in this country, but the problem doesn’t lie with people who can afford to gamble and afford to lose."
- John Howard, talking to 3AW's Neil Mitchell about Kerry Packer after he reportedly lost $32 million in a night at the casino, 1.9.00
If Kerry Packer had not organised a breakaway cricket tournament, someone else would have. Not as well, and probably not for another ten or twenty years.