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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 - ABC, athletes, audiences, broadcasting, identity, media influence, media ownership, popular culture, sport, 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


Inquiry Questions
What have been the major social and cultural features of a post-war decade?

A student:
5.1 explains social, political and cultural developments and events and evaluates their impact on Australian life
5.2 assesses the impact of international events and relationships on Australia’s history
5.4 sequences major historical events to show an understanding of continuity, change and causation
5.5 identifies, comprehends and evaluates historical sources
5.6 uses sources appropriately in an historical inquiry
5.7 explains different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the past.

Students Learn About

Post-war Australia:

  • The impact of changing technology on everyday life in post-war Australia:
  • entertainment
  • communications

Students Learn To:
outline the impact of the main technological changes over time on everyday life in post-war Australia, based on a selection of sources.

Decade Study
The social and cultural features of ONE post-war decade including:

  • entertainment
  • sport
  • British or American influences on popular culture
  • describe the main social and cultural features of the chosen decade
  • outline the main influences of Britain or the USA on Australian popular culture of the chosen decade
  • assess the impact of the chosen decade in shaping Australian identity
This material is an extract. Teachers and students should consult the Board of Studies 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

  1. Describe the way in which cricket was shown on television when it was broadcast on the ABC. How did this change as a result of World Series Cricket?
    1. Use the information in the clip and the information in the links below to account for the reasons why World Series Cricket was successful.
  2. Write an extended response explaining what the introduction of World Series Cricket shows us about the role of the media in sports in the 1970s. Use all of the information in this digital resource to help you.

Further Resources


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

Go to Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal, Sport and the media