Even as Australia licks its wounds over its Ashes loss, the ICC is busily
talking up the feast of cricket coming our way in October with the Johnnie
Walker Super Series.

ICC chief executive
Malcolm Speed has got on the front foot to declare that following a
series of
TV licensing deals for the six-day Super Test in Sydney and the
three-match ODIs in Melbourne, more than a billion people will have
access to TV coverage of the clashes between Australia and the ICC
World XI.

Speed said that such
was the global interest in securing the TV rights, that the broadcasts will
be seen by fans in Australasia, Asia, the UK, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North America.
However, does Asia also include the Indian sub-continent, which is
normally regarded as its own regional grouping, where it’s suggested the ICC has
been at loggerheads with Indian TV interests who earlier refused to meet the
asking price? India would normally
be expected to provide the biggest fee of all.

“TV rights are a
vital component of international cricket and we have been delighted with the
enthusiasm this series has generated among international broadcasters covering
all major cricketing markets,” Speed said. “We are confident that our twin objectives of
meeting event revenue targets and achieving maximum global audience reach will
be met.”

According to the ICC
web site news release – Channel 9 as host broadcaster will provide a world feed
service to Sony Entertainment Television (SET) in Asia and the Middle East,
BSkyB in the UK, Super Sport in Africa, the Caribbean Media Corporation
in the Caribbean, Sky New Zealand and Echostar in North America. Unless
the Sony footprint covers India, I still don’t see designated coverage in that
list for the sub-continent. No doubt
because of the huge importance of the Indian market there has been heavy
negotiations going on behind the scenes, but if India is still a hold out you
wouldn’t know it from this ICC chest beating.

The Johnnie Walker
Super Series ODI fixtures are at Melbourne’s Telstra Dome on October 5, 7 and 9, and the Sydney
Super Test at the SCG from October 14 to 19.

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Peter Fray
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