Martin Devlin: How many people are watching the cricket on Spark Sport?

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Dec 2020, 11:43AM

Martin Devlin: How many people are watching the cricket on Spark Sport?

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Dec 2020, 11:43AM

As the Black Caps celebrate another comprehensive test win over the West Indies, and don't even start with this rubbish about "they're the worst tourists ever" stuff, attention has to turn to the one unanswered question, the ginormous elephant in the room, how many people are watching via Spark Sport?

Now I'm not being a smarty pants about this, I like so many other cricket fans have genuine concerns and want to hear from NZC, want some reassurance that this isn't the absolute disaster many suspect it is. And the longer the CEO stays silent, the worse it looks.

I happened to bump into David White a couple of weeks back just days after the first T20 of this tour. The first thing he said to me was  "did you see we had the biggest audience ever for a game on TV last Friday?'. And he was right. But that's on TV1 free to air, not ppv on Spark. 

What EVERYONE wants to know is how many are watching via the streaming service? The CEO can't champion the decision to sell the rights to Spark (for 6 years) as being the best thing ever for his sport, as something "that guarantees the future of the sport", then go into hiding afterwards every time someone asks the awkward question.

What kind of leadership is that? C'mon Mr White. You made this call. You were given the backing to make the call so stand by it! Why won't you  front up and tell the truth here? And don't quote "commercial sensitivity and confidentiality agreements" because we all know that is just more fudging. 

The longer the CEO maintains the ostrich approach the more it seems he has something to hide. Which (the presumption is) means nothing, i.e. the numbers  are so low they are embarrassed to say. So while the team is playing brilliantly,  the administration is displaying all the confidence of a West Indian slip fieldsman.

Time to front up NZC and start justifying your decision.