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Video clip synopsis – Self-confessed cricket lover Tim Bowden remembers when Channel 9 took over the cricket broadcasts from the ABC.
Year of production - 2004
Duration - 1min 29sec
Tags - broadcasting, change and continuity, identity, media industry, media ownership, popular culture, sport, technological change, television, see all tags


Channel 9 and cricket

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About the Video Clip


This interview with Tim Bowden was recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

Tim Bowden is a broadcaster, radio and delivision documentary maker, oral historian and author. You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Area of study 2. Technologies of representation

This area of study focuses on the production of representations by students in two or more media forms. Students then compare how the application of the different media technologies affects the meanings that can be created in the representations. The implications for the distribution and/or consumption of these representations are also discussed.

Different media technologies represent the world in different ways. Each, through its technology, materials, techniques, applications and processes, produces a particular representation of the world. While the different forms of media (for example, television, radio and the Internet) have practices that are common, they also have features that result in the production of media products with characteristics that are unique. The use of codes and conventions to convey ideas and meaning in the representations is considered in the context of the media forms in which the technologies were applied and with reference to the specific forms and characteristics of the representations produced.

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


Media magnate Kerry Parker – owner of Channel Nine – upped the stakes for broadcasters when he famously asked the Australian Cricket Board, 'We are all harlots … how much do you fellows want?’ (qtd Koce)

Speaking to the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), Packer was seeking to buy the exclusive rights to broadcast Test cricket. Cricket had traditionally belonged to the national broadcaster, the ABC, which paid a nominal fee to the Cricket Board. Packer reputedly offered the Cricket Board seven times the sum paid by the ABC, but his bid was declined.

In May 1977 Packer retaliated when he announced his plan to stage a rival cricket competition, a 'supertest’, to be called World Series Cricket (WSC). Packer had secretly signed up 50 of the world’s best cricket players from England, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa, as well as 13 of Australia’s Test side plus Australian captain Greg Chappell. He lured the players with offers of up to 10 times their usual wage.

Packer’s WSC program was televised during prime time viewing. World Series Cricket included five-day matches, one-day knockout matches and three-day games using three teams in a round robin format. By poaching cricket’s best players, WSC undermined traditional Test cricket and risked turning it into a second-rate event.

Classroom Activities


Answer the following questions from the Video Clip Context and the video clip:

  1. Why do you think Kerry Packer wanted to broadcast cricket?
  2. What impact do you think Packer’s World Series Cricket would have had at the time on how the game was administrated? What impact do you think Packer’s World Series Cricket would have had at the time on how the game was broadcast?
  3. Talk to one of your parents, a teacher at your school or someone of their age who is ‘into’ cricket. As them how the broadcasting of WSC cricket differed from that of the ABC and find out which they preferred.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.