Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Cricket, Anyone?

I knew there was a big sporting event that took place over the weekend ... wait a minute, I got it... Final Four?

Well, yes and no. Yes, the Final Four did take place this weekend, and it obviously got much of the attention in the sports media. But I was also surprised to see the amount of space (at least on ESPN) devoted to the Cricket World Cup. It was the lead story on ESPN's website late Friday and well into Saturday, with the network devoting a lot of resources to the event's culmination over the weekend.

In America, we tend to focus on events like the Final Four and Super Bowl, and certainly 15 million television viewers (the best for the Final Four since 2005) are nothing to sneeze at. But consider than the cricket final between India and Sri Lanka pulled in a record 67+ million, and nearly a billion (that's billion with a "B") Indians were following the matches. I personally don't follow cricket and couldn't tell you much about the game, but a billion is pretty strong.

We call our baseball championship the "World Series" (which gets harder to justify with the World Baseball Classic), and the winner of the Super Bowl brags about being "World Champions," but our corner of the world keeps getting smaller and smaller. This is not to say that cricket will ever supplant football or basketball in our culture (much like soccer never has), but the sports media continue to break down barriers and help improve cultural understanding.

A billion Indians must be on to something.


Blogger Rob Hoffmann said...

The fact that ESPN just paid a ton of money for the rights to ICC events for the period 2012-2015 might have something to do with this.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Brad Schultz said...

Eventually, it always comes down to money ...

8:18 AM  
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