SVG Europe Women event talks cricket with BBC Sport, CTV OB, ECB and Sky Sports
At the SVG Europe Women evening event in Lord’s last week (22 May 2019), this summer’s season of women’s cricket was discussed at length in front of an audience of 200 attendees.
Topics at the event, sponsored by Imagen, ranged from the accessibility and freshness of the England team and its evolution into being treated as a professional squad to the ability to create stories about the players that viewers can engage with. It also covered the trials and tribulations of pulling together the broadcast of the Women’s Ashes Tour.
Introduced by sports presenter Abi Stephens, Imagen sales executive Kerry Freeman spoke about the need for women in the industry to support each other, referring to how she and a fellow runner in a marathon helped each other at a difficult point in the race, to help each other get over the finish line.
The first session, From long wave to digital: Exploring the BBC’s evolving coverage of cricket now and going forward, looked at how the BBC has moved its holistic approach to broadcasting cricket forwards, from radio to digital and as of 2020, back to live and highlights television.
BBC Sport’s Dominique Middleton, head of production for radio, digital and cricket, Henry Moeran, BBC Sport Test Match Special producer, and Isabelle Westbury, sports broadcaster and former Middlesex Captain, spoke at length around this topic.
They concluded that the women’s game is now being treated exactly the same in broadcasting terms as the men’s, but at this turning point it is exciting to have access to members of female teams who are happy to talk, enabling the BBC to build stories around them, encouraging fan engagement and interest in the women’s game.
This was followed by the second session, The sticky wicket of women’s cricket: Inside summer 2019 women’s cricket broadcasting, where Aoife Murphy, England and Wales Cricket Board broadcast and media operations manager, Jennie Blackmore, Sky Sports production executive for cricket, and Angela Gibbons, CTV Outside Broadcasts’ commercial manager, spoke about the Ashes and their cooperation that will lead to this summers broadcast coverage on Sky Sports.
The level of teamwork and the collaboration between the ECB, Sky Sports and CTV OB stood out as the three women spoke about their work to bring this summer’s coverage together. Again, the group concluded that the women’s game is now being treated from a broadcast perspective in exactly the same way as the men’s game.
Heather McLean, SVG Europe editor and internal head of SVG Europe Women, commented on the evening: “This is the first time we’ve held an SVG Europe Women event straight after one of SVG Europe’s events, and I am more than happy with both the turnout, the venue, and our fantastic speakers.
“It was a fabulous evening and both sessions were really interesting, showing great insight into both the broadcasters, the evolution of the women’s game of cricket, and how broadcasters work with technology providers and Federations to bring viewers the coverage and the stories behind the game.
“We are now looking forward to our next event with Sky Sports and Sky Production Services on 18 July at Sky Studios in Isleworth, London. We will have more details about that in coming weeks, so please sign up to the SVG Europe Women mailing list to find out more,” McLean concluded.