Immediate interest in Ashes Test

but no coverage on Fairfax Radio…

Fairfax Radio has not taken immediate advantage of its cricket rights, despite the high interest in Australia’s shining performance in the first test.

Following up on some of our readers’ twitter discussions and comments about why they are not hearing this exciting test on Fairfax Radio, we asked Clark Forbes about the network strategy on its cricket coverage.

He reminded us that the original announcement of Fairfax’ planned coverage said that the commercial network would only cover the Melbourne and Sydney tests around Christmas and New Year.

The announcement said:

This year Fairfax Radio will broadcast ball-by-ball coverage of the Melbourne and Sydney Tests in the Ashes series. The other three Test matches, in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, will see Fairfax Radio sports journalists present comprehensive updates throughout play.

In addition, Fairfax Radio will provide coverage of the five International One Day fixtures, the three International T20s and the 35 Big Bash League (BBL) matches.

As well as providing comprehensive coverage from this team of experts, Fairfax Radio will soon launch a dedicated digital sport and news channel to broadcast the entire summer of cricket live. To be known as Fairfax Radio NTS (News Talk Sport), it will broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week on DAB+. In addition to the cricket coverage, Fairfax Radio NTS will include regular sports updates.

Forbes has told radioinfo, “the digital station will be launched early December. It will be ready to do for the first BBL match on December 20.”

A number of regional commercial stations are also expected to take the Fairfax coverage through Fairfax Radio Syndication, which will bring commercial radio coverage to the bush in direct competition with ABC regional radio.

A century from Michael Clarke has strengthened Australia’s grip on the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane and created immediate strong interest in this test series. ABC Radio has been covering the Test from day 1.