Home > USA > Opinion: Rocks Paper Scissors championship on ESPN….

Opinion: Rocks Paper Scissors championship on ESPN….

My Word…… I saw this today on ESPN, and I was rolling on the floor.

The coverage was for a world championship. There was a decent crowd in to watch this as well, and the commentators were going on about strategies etc. There was also a ‘pro’ who used to come between ‘matches’ and talk about techniques and tricks…..

Ofcourse, this was just before the hot dong eating contest, also on ESPN.

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Categories: USA
  1. Cuen Lucas
    July 15, 2007 at 5:06 am

    So the winner actually gets to call himself a “rock, paper and scissors world champion”? That’ll impress the ladies I’m sure. 😀

    I was going to ask the most obvious question “why then does ESPN not broadcast any cricket in the U.S., considering it holds the rights to the FTP?” But the answer is actually very simple and (unfortunately) glaringly unmasked. GREED.

    It seems that all U.S.
    broadcasters want to do is “exploit” the various cricket following expat communities in N.America, when they could instead devote a small, then gradually larger amount of time to cricket and eventually reap the rewards
    of a large cross sectional following of cricket.

    When it comes to T.V. money, everyone seems to suffer such short sightedness and an inability to see the larger picture, I suggest a great deal of them visit an optician.

    But until then it’s full speed ahead for rock paper scissors, dog shows, spelling bees and even thumb wrestling (I kid you not).

  2. Ram
    July 15, 2007 at 7:48 am

    I still don’t get this thing on TV rights…Everyone knows USA is the 2nd biggest market for the sport, yet the game isn’t on TV nor is the ICC interested in doing so…why?…On the other hand, how’s it that it’s on TV in a similar country like UAE/Canada?…Similarly, if cricket is next only to soccer in terms of popularity in African countries, then why aren’t regional TV companies interested in broadcasting international cricket on local TV channels as is the case for international soccer?…What prompted Asian sports channels like ESPN STAR or Ten Sports to bring foreign sports like WWE, F1, rugby, basketball or European soccer to subcontinental TV homes 10-15 years back?…

  3. Cuen Lucas
    July 15, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Ram, to answer your second question, the people in charge of companies like FOM, WWE, IRB, NBA, FIFA etc, realise that it’s in the best interests of their sports to actively seek new markets. The results speak for themselves.

    a)Football/Soccer is HUGE around the world and almost every country plays it.

    b)In the past five years FOUR new Formula 1 driver nationalities have been added,(Malaysia, Hungary, India, Poland). And several new countries are either hosting or looking to host races.

    c)Rugby is growing at a rate of knots and even countries like Japan are beginning to garner respect and even ambitions of hosting a World Cup!

    d)Basketball is also growing and is even an Olympic sport.

    e)WWE stars are getting massive receptions and followings no matter where they go in the world.

    And cricket? Major followings in a comparatively paltry 11 countries…wow…

    There are two possible reasons for this, either the GCC is trying to squeeze every cent for broadcast rights and is asking too much. OR the ICC is a bit too happy and complacent when looking at viewership and revenue levels, I’m sure they’re impressive but remove just India from that list and suddenly the numbers don’t look so clever.

  4. Ram
    July 15, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Every now and then I see the ICC coming out with “impressive” stats on how playing numbers have increased in their Associate/Affiliate countries in the last few years and how they keep comparing these with earlier times…While that may’ve deserved credit 15-20 years ago, in modern times, TV is the fastest and most effective tool to spread the game to non-traditional areas…Is the ICC so dumb not to realize what other sports realized 15 years back????…You don’t even have to live in the subcontinent to realize how popular foreign sports have become in the last 5-8 years thanks to ESPN STAR…And, the ICC doesn’t have to look beyond Nepal and Afghanistan…What was cricket in these countries say 8 years back?…

    I don’t think the GCC is the crux of the problem…They did agree to the ICC proposal to cover the U19 WCs as part of the media rights deal…why wasn’t the ICC trophy included in the deal?…I don’t think it would’ve been an impossible task for them to force their TV partners into exploring newer markets if that meant a few million $$…It’s just short-sightedness and a lack of professionalism on the part of the ICC…

  5. Cuen Lucas
    July 15, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    I agree Ram, but it’s not just T.V. these days that is an effective display tool, the ICC also blundered big time when it barred the showing of W.C. highlights on Youtube.

    Case in point, on another site, I was talking about cricket to a Canadian and a sports mad American. I posted links on the basics of cricket, an explanation from an American viewpoint etc. But I feel it would have been so much better giving them a link where they could see the world’s best plying their trade.

    I remember saying that cricket needs to lose it’s “tea and crumpets” image that turns a lot of people off, showing ODIs en masse and putting ODI highlights on youtube, would have made a big step towards achieving that. But it hasn’t happened, and the ICC have only themselves to blame (personally I think the ICC should actually be putting up youtube highlights themself).

    Frankly the ICC have lost sight of the benefits of T.V. for them it’s a cash cow and nothing more. And so cricket loses out…again..

    Oh well…Tea and crumpets anyone? 😀

  6. Art
    July 15, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Hmmm interesting comment and I hope you meant hot dog not hot dong lol.

    America is interesting. My explanation starts with “Oh and remmeber the batter is fair game. We call the pitcher the bowler and the batter can be hit by the ball the bowler bowls (pitches). that is to say you can aim at the batter. I then go on the advise that beamers are not allowed of course. A few pictures of batsmen prostate on the pitch and a few pictures of blood sure get them thinking.

    There has been a lack of attention paid to the aspect that cricket is a a person on person sport played as a team game and those of us who have played it know how tough it can be both physically and mentally. Because, as you say, the ‘tea and crumpets’ idea still pushed by some the failure to push the true nature of cricket has held it back.

    Cricket is a tough and skillful game and perhaps if the highly paid group of commentators who were yesterday’s heroes concentrated on that rather than carping criticisms of everything from the crowd attendences to umpiring decisions in the light of ultra slow motion, noise detectors and trajectory appartus cricket might just advance more around the world.

  7. Bruce Gaskell
    July 19, 2007 at 7:13 am

    I would suspect TV companies are cautious of broadcasting Cricket simply because of the length of the game, you have to dedicate an entire channel for a day unless its just a highlights package, a bit of a risk in a non cricket market.

    Conversely this is a strength in a traditional cricket market, you have a captive audience for a whole day which advertisers would like.

  8. Ram
    July 19, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Bruce…If you give free live TV feed, I don’t think it would cost much to dedicate an exclusive TV channel for the sport…Once the viewership picks up, advertisers will flock and the issue of having to dedicate the whole day will no longer be an issue…It’s just the question of whether the ICC is interested in doing so…

  9. July 19, 2007 at 9:47 am

    Ram, it would cost a lot in terms of lost advertisers who won’t want to advertise on cricket when it’s an unknown quantity.

  10. Ram
    July 19, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Andrew..I mentioned ‘exclusive TV channel for the sport’…Cricket would be an additional option to watch on TV, NOT something that would replace more popular sports…In any case, the ICC can always try out newer markets for the forthcoming 20/20 World Championships while forcing the Test boards to do the same for their domestic 20/20 competitions…All sports have been successful in this effort, there’s no reason why the ICC won’t be..

  11. July 20, 2007 at 3:25 am

    ICC has no interest in doing that…… All that they do is to fool themselves into believing that if 11 expats make up a US team, it will attract fanatic following from the mainstream nationals……. such a team cannot even attract a remote interest from the expats, let alone mainstream guys……

    After where UAE are with top notch facilities, and 50% of the country as expats, the reality is hitting ICC in the face, but they still choose to beat around the bush…….

    The truth is very simple…. there are only 5 teams in the world right now that have a chance of doing well….. they are Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Uganda and Nepal……. Afghanistan if they have some stability and some infrastructure…….. Netherlands if they can increase their playing numbers……. I dont buy the crap about the game having too little of a profile in Netherlands….. however low the profile of cricket is in Netherlands, it cannot be lower than Germany, Finland, Denmark and Italy, all of whom have in the last 2-3 years had junior programmes involving 3000, 2000, 6000 and 5000 kids respectively……. they all achieved that with associate or affiliate funding…….. Netherlands can do more, and if they can increase their playing numbers up to 10-15K, they have the rest of the structure in a pretty decent shape by associate standards…….

  12. Ram
    July 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I still do not understand why the US isn’t a part of the ICC TV rights market when the fact is it is supposedly the 2nd biggest?…Also, why doesn’t the ICC include the WC qualifiers (along with WCL Div 1 and maybe Div 2) as part of the TV deal when U19 WCs can be included?

    I find it strange that even broadcasters, who’re driven by viewership numbers, can remain so ignorant of the potential benefits of exploiting newer, hitherto unexplored markets for the sport and the channel!!…It’s scarcely believable that the ICC hasn’t recognized this when other sports did so 15 years back!!!…However, it remains to be seen if the securing of ICC’s TV rights by ESPN STAR and the subsequent acquisition of Cricinfo by US-based ESPN will make any difference to cricket entering the mainstream US and/or other foreign markets…

  13. Bruce Gaskell
    July 20, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    “I still do not understand why the US isn’t a part of the ICC TV rights market when the fact is it is supposedly the 2nd biggest?…”

    In what respect? It certainly isn’t the 2nd most valuable, and in absolute numbers there are hardly more South Asian Americans than there are English, Australians, Bangladeshis…

  14. Ram
    July 21, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Bruce…It’s widely known that the US is the 2nd biggest revenue earner for the ICC from its global media rights mainly because of the presence of expats from cricketing countries…In this context, I don’t understand why nobody seems interested to telecast cricket on cable TV as is the case in full member nations…Isn’t there a single expat working in the various American TV networks who knows the potential for telecasting cricket in the US?…Afterall, cricket IS shown on cable TV in similar expat-filled countries like UAE and..I think Canada as well…

  15. July 22, 2007 at 4:17 am

    Ram,

    I dont know if this statement by Percy Sonn was 100% accurate about US (read south asian expats in the US) being the second largest market for cricket…. I fail to understand how $1million in the US can be more lucrative than, say, Australia, England, even SA or Pakistan…….

    This statement may have been given from the perspective of India….. that for India, US is the second biggest cricket market……..

    Now to explain this a little bit…… the only reason why US is a big market for cricket is the exhorbitant pay per view pricing of the cricket matches…….. You are talking to ‘stupid fan #1’ here…… for the current World Cup, I paid $200…… for Pakistan’s Tour of India in 2005, I paid $250, and then also stayed up all night on weekdays to watch the matches…….. the only reason why US is a lucrative market is because people are willing to pay tonnes of money to view the games, even at odd hours……. you only have to see the standard of the advertising, and the number, to see that the networks are not making a killing by the ads, like it is in the sub continent…….. hence, taking away the pay per view model will not cut it for the network……. they will not make a cent that way in profit……

  16. July 23, 2007 at 6:06 am

    In the comment above, the line “… fail to understand how $1million in the US can be more lucrative …” should have been “… fail to understand how a market of 1 million expats in the US can be more lucrative …”

  17. Cuen Lucas
    September 17, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Here’s another on ESPN, “international stacking” It’s to see who is the fastest to stack plastic drinking cups.

    I can’t believe that the USACA and MLC between them can’t make a case for broadcasting cricket. As I’m typing this I’m watching a really entertaining game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Ridiculous

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