Sunday, 11 October 2009

Rightful home

Great news for the Murdoch-hating, cricket-loving majority, the Ashes are going back to terrestrial TV the next time the series is played here - 2013. The Government has a list of sporting events - known colloquially as the "crown jewels" - that it protects from the grasping claws of pay TV merchants. Last year, the Ashes fell off this list after Rupert Murdoch signed a £300m deal with the ECB to broadcast the series this year and in 2013. So this news is not going to go down well after Rupert reads about it in The Sun, or The Times, or hears about it on Sky - Murdoch fiefdoms, all. The timing of this announcement also bears closer scrutiny. The Sun famously came out in support of David Cameron the day after Gordon Brown's headline speech at the recent Labour Party Conference. If memory serves, the massive headline was 'Labour's Lost It'. Just how much influence The Sun wields over the electorate is debatable, but the headline immediately becalmed Brown's latest fightback attempt. Our PM was so enraged he completely lost it in several interviews the following day. But beware the cornered beast. Labour has indeed lost it, but Gordo and his chums still have one or two weapons at their disposal, one of which is deciding which sporting events run on free-to-air TV...

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