Q. 5

How have advances in technology, especially television technology, affected the development of contemporary cricket?

Answer :

Kerry Packer, an Australian television tycoon who saw the moneymaking potential of cricket as a televised sport, signed up fifty-one of the world’s leading cricketers against the wishes of the national cricket boards and for about two years staged unofficial Tests and One-Day internationals under the name of World Series Cricket. While Packer’s ‘circus’ as it was then described folded up after two years, the innovations he introduced during this time to make cricket more attractive to television audiences endured and changed the nature of the game.

Television channels made money by selling television spots to companies who were happy to pay large sums of money to air commercials for their products to cricket’s captive television audience. Continuous television coverage made cricketers celebrities who, besides being paid better by their cricket boards, now made even larger sums of money by making commercials for a wide range of products, from tyres to colas, on television. Television coverage changed cricket. It expanded the audience for the game by beaming cricket into small towns and villages. It also broadened cricket’s social base. Children who had never previously had the chance to watch international cricket because they lived outside the big cities, where top-level cricket was played, could now watch and learn by imitating their heroes.


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