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Cricket Web Site Breaks New Ground for Soccer Sites to Follow

We’re living in a time where the guidelines of what’s legal and not regarding football coverage is blurred. Let me explain.

If you live outside the UK, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the frustration of being unable to listen or watch certain matches due to rights restrictions. The example we’re most familiar with is the radio commentary of Premiership matches on BBC Five Live. Instead of listening to Mike Ingham, Alan Green and company, we’re cursed with hearing the audio loop that gives soccer fans more dread than any other (“We’re sorry, but due to rights restrictions…”).

Instead of the TV or radio commentary, we’ve had to suffer with the stopgap solution for several years, namely text commentaries. The bane of our existence, but a solution that’s better than nothing. BBC, and other sites that provide text commentary, get around the whole issue of rights restrictions by publishing factual information, which can’t be copyrighted.

However, instead of text commentary, what if The Guardian, BBC, Sporting Life or a similar sports web site showed animations onscreen to give users an idea of what was happening in the match? Is that breaking the copyright laws?

This leads us to the main crux of this article, which centers around this year’s Cricket World Cup. Sky owns the rights to show the games, but a site named found a way to get around the rights issues by showing animations of ball-to-ball coverage to give fans a better idea of what’s going on in matches if they’re unable to see the Sky broadcast.

Read the article to find out how they got around the copyright law. As a side note, if you’re at a Premiership match and you’re a journalist, you’re forbidden from blogging about the match in real-time. But if you’re watching the match on television, you can blog about it.

Of course, the story has interesting implications for soccer/football. Take a look at Cricinfo’s 3D technology here, or see their animations here to better understand how this technology could revolutionize the way we experience matches online where we’re unable to see coverage.

Here’s a perfect instance of how cricket is surpassing football in technology. How much longer wil it be before someone invests the money to adapt this technology for our favorite sport?

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  1. The Temptress

    April 16, 2007 at 4:23 am

    It is quite an innovation, and besides they also have ball-to-ball commentary. SO you don’t need to visit any other site, its a one-stop shop for cricket enthusiasts.


  2. Eric PZ

    April 15, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Reminds me a lot of the online coverage of the Amreicas Cup. I can think of other sports (Tour de France?) which could use that type of technology as well.

  3. Kartik

    April 14, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Cricinfo has always been an innovative site, going back to the late 1990s. Hopefully Soccernet or someone else will apply these innovations to soccer.

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