Howzat, BBC!

Bad news for those of you cricket fans who don’t want to give your money to mean old Rupert Murdoch and his mean old satellite television company for the privilege of watching The Ashes; the government is about to reject a review panel’s recommendation that The Ashes, as well as other major sporting events, be put on free-to-air television.

According to the Guardian, sports minister Hugh Robertson is expected to say that the England and Wales Cricket board will be allowed to retain the right to sell their television rights to whoever comes up with the most dough, rather than make them one of the so-called ‘crown jewels’ of the sporting calendar. However, Robertson’s recommendation will come at the price of reinvestment in cricket.

Robertson wants the country’s big sports to spend 30% of their income from the selling of TV rights to go back into the grass roots, helping kids get into the sport and what have you. This is a big jump from the 5% paid by the Premier League, the governing bodies of cricket, football, tennis, rugby union, rugby league, athletics, and the PGA European golf tour. Isn’t that nice?

‘While 30% may sound ambitious,’ Robertson said. ‘I am optimistic that this can be achieved. National governing bodies have a duty to ensure that they have the strongest community structure possible.’

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