JustinHorton wrote:While the money that broadcasts bring in is very often welcome and even vital, it's absolutely not the difference betwen a sport living or dying.
I didn't say that it was. It's not the difference between chess living or dying, either.
JustinHorton wrote:This depends on whether people are interested in playing it, and while that's often linked to whether the sport is seen on television, they ain't the same thing at all. All sorts of things are involved in determinging whether people play or watch individual sports (or indeed sport per se),
Moreover there's quite an extent to which the larticar demands of TV deals can be damaging to the future and structure of a sport: its role in cricket, for instance, has been highly controversial, since although by common consent the standard of TV coverage has improved, the fact that it's not on the BBC means kids who previously would have grown up watching it may no longer do so (so it works both ways).
I'm probably one of the few people who disagree with the people who think the lack of cricket on terrestrial TV is affecting anything. For starters, the England team is more successful than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s. While it's almost certainly true that there is less recreational cricket now than there once was, according to the FA, RFU and ECF there's also less recreational football, rugby and chess - to name three activities - since the 1990s. I don't think the sport not being on TV is linked to this; I think it is more to do with a change in British culture that means people aren't joining clubs in all sports in the last 20 years. I think this is more likely to be because of the increased demands on both children preventing their involvement, and adults who have less time to volunteer to administer things.
However, with cricket this was simply a change of broadcaster; Sky didn't say Tests needed to have 4 days, or they needed to start at 10am, for example.
Besides, pretty much every sport is televised on pay-TV these days, terrestrial TV can't compete with their spending power. Wimbledon will probably about the only big annual sporting event left on terrestrial TV by 2020, with Formula One exclusively on Sky, The Open going to Sky, and probably the Six Nations - which only narrowly stayed on terrestrial TV in the last negotiations after the BBC and ITV put a joint bid in when they worked out they'd lose to Sky. Sky already broadcast the England Autumn Internationals. Even the sports that were on terrestrial have gone over to Sky over the years, because on balance they think the money from Sky will outweigh the benefits of terrestrial TV. But chess only has one TV broadcaster, so that argument doesn't apply.
JustinHorton wrote:There's a whole range of controversies involving the demands of TV on sport, any if which we could walk through if it helps the discussion, but the idea that you just say "thanks", take the money and do what they want is a silly one. The idea that the existence of a sport depends on doing so is sillier.
Again, I didn't say (or intend to convey) that it did. I'm saying if the largest broadcaster asks you to do something, you do it - I can't believe a broadcaster would ask something that's completely silly, because both the broadcaster and the organisers are going to be rational people, and even if they have different things they want to get out of the event, they both need the event to be a success to achieve those aims.