Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flasher at the cricket - Sunday 11 January 2009

That wheezing sound you can hear is the last gasp of test cricket as it struggles for air, deprived of viewers while it’s upstart younger sibling Twenty/20 cricket grabs the limelight.

For those who don’t know already Twenty/20 shrinks the one day 50 over per side cricket match down to a fast 20 overs per side, meaning the whole game can be played out in one evening – perfect for television and spectacle with the play less strategic and more ‘go for broke’

I’m reminded of a quote from an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where one of the characters laments the demise of Baseball several centuries earlier…

"Once, centuries ago, it was the beloved national pastime of the Americas. Abandoned by a society that prized fast food and faster games. Lost to impatience.”

That quote came to mind when I saw the ratings for last night’s Twenty/20 match – quite different to the middling ratings achieved by the test cricket just a week ago, the difference was – those ratings (because of the timeslot) provided a real benefit to Nine’s News, last night Nine’s News was off the radar and it’s 6.30 showing of The Secret Millionaire (honestly, how many timeslots are they going to trial this in?) was a disaster even being beaten by Ten’s also-ran movie.

Better for Nine though was the opening of Flashpoint which held onto half the cricket’s aud – not bad for a show running through to midnight, I didn’t catch it but judging by the previews it looked like ‘Rush: Toronto’ (or perhaps Rush is ‘Flashpoint: Melbourne’) but this initial turnout bodes well for future airings.

Seven suffered the most by Nine’s cricket dominance with the Rich List taking a dive and their movie being beaten into a close fourth place in the slot.

Ten’s decision to air movies was vindicated – although ‘Aquamarine’ was a non-starter it still did better than last week’s reality double, ‘Die Hard with a Vengance’ however did much better for them, it seems in summer when it comes to showing movies, the back catalogue and name recognition is a better guarantee of good ratings

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