Clarke attacks BBC over its failure to bid for broadcasting rights

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, launched a scathing attack on the BBC yesterday in the wake of the ECB announcing it had agreed a £300m deal with Sky television for coverage of live cricket in this country.

"I think now is the time for a real debate on the future of public sector sports broadcasting," said Clarke, who revealed that the BBC had not submitted a bid for the broadcast rights from 2010 to 2013, which includes 26 test matches and 46 one-day internationals.

"There are 19 million people who are interested in cricket in this country. They buy TV licences and surely they should have a right to expect that public sector broadcasters mount bids for the nation's summer sport, as they do, in the case of one of them, for 12 other sports.

"If the BBC is to remain part of this, it must answer to the millions of cricket fans in England and Wales, [and explain] how it prioritises its investment."

But the BBC responded by saying: "The BBC is astonished by the comments from the ECB. We always said any bid for live test cricket was subject to value for money and the ability to schedule it. In our view neither of these criteria were met.

"We have consistently argued that not having cricket as a listed event puts it out of reach of all terrestrial broadcasters ... it is absurd to blame the BBC for this outcome." Ironically the BBC is favourite to win the live broadcast rights for radio.

The listed event status protects major sporting spectacles such as the Olympics and states that they must be offered to free-to-air broadcasters at a "fair and reasonable price". Cricket was removed from the list in 1998.

But the ECB insisted that they remained flexible throughout the tendering process, claiming that they would even consider selling off the rights for a single test in a series if necessary.

Clarke revealed that no terrestrial broadcasters had made a bid, saying: "We made it extremely clear that we were prepared to consider anything from terrestrial broadcasters."

He implied that terrestrial broadcasters could never compete with the likes of Sky when saying: "We had bids last time round from terrestrial television that frankly just would not have enabled us to create the sport we have created over the last four years."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence