Friday, February 7, 2014

Save the Live Scorecard

Cricket fans have something unique in the world, Cricinfo. No other sport has anything remotely close - it is the true voice of the fan.

Even though it is now ESPNCricinfo, Cricinfo from all accounts has editorial independence and always speaks for the fan. It gives a fair airing to all sides of issues - just in the past few days, Cricinfo has aired completely different perspectives on the Kevin Pietersen issue. While being hugely critical of the position paper that recommends changes in the world cricket structure, in the interest of fairness Cricinfo carried an interview explaining the perspective of the big-3. Such examples are replete through Cricinfo's history.

Recently Cricinfo celebrated it's 20 year anniversary, and scores of articles in the celebration page show how much Cricinfo is loved around the world, by fans and players alike. The growth and popularity of Cricinfo is intimately tied to the live scorecard, and it is no accident that Cricinfo launched the 20 year celebration with the story behind the live scorecard. 

Now because of an absurd ruling of the Delhi high court, the live scorecard is under threat. If the ruling is allowed to stay, it is a slippery slope that will let corporations buy Internet rights for any "event", and prevent a free flow of information and data. Cricinfo has never in it's history charged fans for the live coverage - not on the web, not on any apps. It is a service that is provided to the fans free of charge. Nor has it, to my knowledge, ever prevented any rival site from providing a live scorecard service.

The Times of India has a very good article explaining the issue.

Please join me in protesting this absurd ruling, and urging the Supreme Court of India to dismiss the case. The issues go beyond the live scorecards that we see on Cricinfo, Cricbuzz and other sites - but the near term objective is the interests of us cricket fans.

If you agree with the thoughts above, please sign the online petition on avaaz.org. Click below to sign the petition. 




Petition



Disclaimer: I am not involved with the ESPNCricinfo management in any way. I was involved in the early days of Cricinfo and I remain a fan.

19 comments:

  1. This is only an interim injunction. 'Hot news doctrine' upon which such claims are based was rejected by the Delhi HC last year. So, the odds are that this injunction would also be vacated in due course.

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  2. If gets vacated, that's great. Need to build a pressure group or movement against it regardless.

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  3. I think you are wrong in saying that Cricinfo has never charged for any of its services. If I remember correctly, In the late 1990s for a very brief period Cricinfo charged for providing live scores. One had to login to get the live scores at that time.

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  4. Srikanth - no, Cricinfo did not charge to provide live scores (I was part of Cricinfo at that time). There was an experiment with paid accounts that gave you access to a faster (less loaded) server but it was quickly abandoned. Those days Cricinfo could not keep up with it's own popularity - happens infrequently even now.

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  5. Cricinfo does not charge the users for providing live scores? That's like saying Google does not charge users for providing search results. Cricinfo sells us, our eyeballs to advertisers and makes money out of it. So, they do make earn from providing live commentary.
    Will you also support a TV channel (say Doordarshan) that will provide fre live telecast of matches to viewers even if it does not have the rights?

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  6. Sorry I didn't see your comment until now. I have created a separate site for this issue with lots more information: http://savethelivecard.wordpress.com

    I will support DD if it doesn't prevent other original content (which live ball-by-ball commentary is) from existing. The issue really is of ownership of facts and it should be independent of one's feelings towards Cricinfo as a fan of the site/game.

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  13. The celebration page show how much Cricinfo is loved around the world, by fans and players alike.sports scores

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