Nigel Walker: How Guerilla Cricket is thinking outside the commentary box
The Sport: Digital and Social podcast has not been going that long but I have already spoken to key personnel at some of the world’s biggest rights-holders.
However, this podcast is a little different.
Guerilla Cricket, and its previous incarnation Test Match Sofa, are challenging a long-established norms of broadcasting England's national sport.
This is not the cosy cake-filled commentary box of the BBC. It beers and banter in a basement flat plus humourous, sometimes sweary, jingles at major moments. (You’ll hear a few of those through this podcast).
But real innovation (not just copying and twisting) so often starts at this level and has to fight resistance from those in incumbent positions.
So is Guerrilla Cricket revolutionary new model for live commentary that could be rolled out across other sports?
Or is it just a hobby that can only exist in its sporting niche?
Listen to this podcast with co-founder Nigel Walker, make up your own mind and let me know on @SportDigitalandSocial on Instagram @MrRichardClarke or my website MrRichard Clarke.com.
1.59: Nigel Walker introduces Guerilla Cricket
2.48: The toll taken by through-the-night commentaries on England in Australia
3.41: The backstory of Test Match Sofa and its transformation into Guerilla Cricket
5.38: Why The Cricketer Magazine bought Test Match Sofa and how it went wrong
7.38: The clash of culture
10.10 Why their commentary is not illegal
11.25: The wider role that Guerilla Cricket in bringing a new audience to cricket. “Everyone wants to be a commentator and why can’t you be?”
13.10 The Guerilla Cricket audience and how they use social media.
Twitter “85% of the audience is 20-44”
15.04 Experiments in adding visuals with Facebook Live and YouTube
16.06 Hobby or Business. How they are looking to monetise. Why Patreon is better than Kickstarter for them
19.30: Looking for sponsors
21.15 Expanding this model out to other sports
22.30 The problems of success and growth when you are guerilla and amateur brand
25.30 What do Guerilla Cricket class as legitimation?
26.28 Branching out in different strands of cricket
27.19 Why not cover IPL?
28.10 Test cricket v T20 v ODI. One of them has to go!!!
28.53 Finding meaning in mini-series and where a Test championship fits in.
30.40 How it might work
31.20 The jingles. How they are created and how they are monetised
33.30 How technology changes have allowed the content to develop
35.50 Analysing the numbers.
1m hours over the Ashes, 100k uniques
37.30 Listening on desktop and thoughts on an app. Their experience with Tune-In
39.40 Why their audience hate ads despite the long-form nature of cricket
41.00 Product placement. “Ooo…pass me a can of Stella”
43.40 Why piracy of their stream is not a problem… far now
44.30 Are the cricket authorities still chasing Guerilla Cricket?
45.55 Why 2005 saw England regain the Ashes but lost much, much more
47.20 What the future holds for Guerilla Cricket? Can it survive? Reconciling the hobby v business battle
50.01 The motivation to make a new model work and prove that to the authorities
Reading list and links