Monday, June 11, 2007

ESPN acquires Cricinfo

ESPN International has acquired Cricinfo website. Note that the acquisition is by ESPN International and not ESPN-Star Sports the Disney-Murdoch joint venture. ESPN Star Sports has its own sports site, but that doesn't have the same fan base as Cricinfo. So there will be some tension between ESPN-Star and ESPN International on how Cricinfo is treated.

Disney's long term gameplan is not clear. However, looking at Soccernet, I am not very confident that great things may happen with (as the site will be renamed soon).

Current Cricinfo earnings are too small to merit enough focus here from ESPN bigwigs.

A few things, well funded Cricinfo can do (but may not do):
  • Video scorecards of every Test and One-day match - at least the wickets and fours/sixes clips linked to every match scorecard.
  • Additional key moments like centuries, fifties, controversial (non-)dismissals etc.
  • These clips to be linked to the statsguru database.
  • A good mobile interface to statsguru, as well as the above video database
  • Allowing for embedding (ad supported and delivered by Cricinfo) video clips into third party blogs, when fans want to build up an argument and support the argument with video.
  • Archived full highlights of video of classic past matches for pay-per-view streaming.
  • Live audio streaming (legal I suppose. Off tube may not work with Disney) of all Test and One-day matches online (paid + ad supported).
  • Video profiles/biographies (30 mins) of important Test cricketers (both online and offline in the form of DVDs)
  • Better coverage of domestic cricket in all Test playing countries, including live scorecards of first-class games