I am a Sky customer. I pay £37 a month (plus an extra £17 for broadband while awaiting its ‘free’ service, although that is a different matter) for hundreds of channels – the vast majority of which I don’t watch. In fact, the only reason I pay £37 a month (£444 a year) to Sky is for its cricket coverage – which (the miserable Bob Willis excepting) is very good indeed. Since the demise of Channel 4’s coverage the only place to get any live cricket on UK TV is through Sky, and I have spent many happy hours watching recent overseas tours, Twenty20 cricket, etc. etc. on Murdoch’s channels. Friends of mine without Sky (who live too far away to pop round to watch my TV) are having to wait up to watch the BBC’s highlights of the World Cup (although at least Auntie is dedicating the best part of three hours to its highlights show), and stay up to date with Test Match Special or via the Internet.

The worry I have, however, is that while Sky continues to be the only place to catch the live cricket, where will the next generation of fans (the ones without Sky) be able to watch live cricket coverage? I fell in love with the game watching the likes of Athers and Goochie battle away live on BBC 2, while Richie Benaud provided pearls of wisdom. While I am now willing and able to pay for Sky to watch cricket, I would have no desire to do so had there been no live cricket on terrestrial TV in the late 80s and early 90s.

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