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Sport - a spectacular television event

Video clip synopsis – Behind the scenes of a transmission from Wembley Stadium, seen on Australian television.
Year of production - 1973
Duration - 0min 54sec
Tags - audiences, broadcasting, change and continuity, emerging technologies, entertainment, identity, sport, technological change, telecommunications, television, television programs, see all tags


Sport - a spectacular television event

How to Download the Video Clip

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About the Video Clip


This video clip, showing behind the scenes of a transmission from Wembley Stadium, is an excerpt from the series Australian Report, first produced in 1973. Australian Report is a Commonwealth Film Unit production. This video clip is on the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

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:

  • home appliances
  • 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


World Series Cricket – WSC – reinvented cricket as a spectacular television event. Its day-night games were designed for prime-time broadcasting. The players’ traditional cricket whites were replaced with bright clothes and dramatic night-lights imbued the game with a sense of theatre. Channel Nine’s marketing department developed the jingle, 'C’mon Aussie, c’mon, c’mon’. 50,000 spectators flocked to the Sydney Cricket Ground to watch the first WSC game of 1978 and the matches had brilliant ratings for the Nine Network.

Nine’s eight cameras vastly improved the television coverage with views of the game from a range of angles. This enhanced the quality of replays, and for the first time live coverage was combined with computerised statistics, plus player and expert interviews. The innovations in cricket broadcasting that occurred during the WSC era are still felt over twenty years later.

Classroom Activities


Radio owes much to cricket for boosting its early popularity. The 1932–33 Test in Australia (the ‘Bodyline’ series) was the first Test to be covered by ABC radio. For the 1934 Test played in England, the ABC contrived ‘synthetic’ coverage of the game that was a ball-by-ball account of play, with sound effects. Coded cables were sent from England to the ABC’s Sydney studio at the end of each over. Interpreting the cables, commentators described each ball played, the runs scored, and how those in the field were placed. The commentary was enhanced by authentic sound effects like audience applause, and the ‘thwack’ of bat on ball that was simulated by tapping a pencil against a coconut shell. The ABC made no secret of the ‘synthetic’ nature of its Test coverage. Even so, night after night Australians stayed up with their wirelesses until stumps were called at 3am.

  1. Use the link below to hear a ‘synthetic cricket’ broadcast. Watch the Australian Report video clip. Then explain the ways in which technology changed the ways in which sports were covered in the media between the 1930s and the 1970s.
  2. Describe the ways in which World Series Cricket made the game more interesting to watch on television.
  3. Discuss the importance of television for sporting events.

Further Resources


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

Go to 75 Years of Radio: Synthetic Cricket