Still a broadcast market — Davie

It is disappointing but not surprising cricket commentary on the radio appears to be gone, says a man who has commentated on the sport for more than 30 years.

The hazy, lazy days of summer — listening to cricket on the radio while out in the backyard or in the car could well be over after an announcement yesterday.

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) announced yesterday it had chosen not to renew the rights to broadcast live commentary of New Zealand Cricket's domestic season — domestic and international matches played in New Zealand — next summer.

NZME said Radio Sport had enjoyed being the home of cricket for more than 20 years.

It had been in discussion with NZC for some time but had not been able to reach agreement on the rights.

The network’s cricket coverage had run at a loss and it had to rethink what it was offering the public.

The move opens the way for the broadcaster to realign its popular summer programming schedules to a wider audience.

Dunedin broadcaster Steve Davie, who began his career with renowned Dunedin cricket commentator Iain Gallaway, said NZC had allowed NZME to run down the service over the past few years.

"They used to run everything but over the past five to six years it has been slowly let go.

"There is no Plunket Shield, the Ford Trophy has slowly gone and there is not much twenty20 either," he said.

Davie said it would be interesting to see what NZC does.

He felt sure there was still a market out there for cricket to be broadcast on the radio and thought someone would be interested.

That may be a cashed-up cricket fan who would want to retain the service.

He imagined it would be relatively inexpensive to run a service.

"It is what people grew up with. In today’s quick-fix society I still think there is room for it. There is still an appetite out there for it."

With domestic cricket switching to Spark Sport next season, the game will not be easily accessible for many members of the public

NZC is believed to be exploring other avenues and looking for other broadcast partners, Stuff reported yesterday.

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