Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1537 - 1539)


Mr David Morgan and Mr David Collier

  Q1537  Chairman: Thank you very much for coming. This is probably the last Select Committee of the House of Lords meeting before Christmas. One can almost feel the heating being turned off! Thank you very much for coming. We are particularly grateful because I know you have literally flown in a few hours ago from Pakistan. I am not quite sure how to put this question but reactions on what has happened in the series?

  Mr Collier: I think we have been outplayed. I think the Pakistan side has played exceptionally well. What has been wonderful is to see the intensity and passion for cricket in Pakistan. It really was a joy to behold. We were in Karachi at the weekend and the crowd there was quite outstanding. All credit to the Pakistan authorities and the Pakistan Board. They have looked after our team exceptionally well. The President was there at the game yesterday. It really was a wonderful occasion.

  Q1538  Chairman: Good, that is very generous. I hope you are not too jetlagged for this. We are looking at the BBC Charter process. As you know, we have already produced one report but we were conscious of the fact that we had not done some subjects justice of which one was sport. Thank you very much for your written evidence which I thought was extremely useful as far as we were concerned, and we have also, of course, had the benefit of being able to read the evidence that you gave to the Commons' Select Committee. So we will try not to jog back over all that because that is already on the record. For the record, just explain to us, Mr Morgan or Mr Collier, how important the income from television rights is to cricket.

  Mr Morgan: It is vitally important. It provides 80 per cent of our total revenue and that is the situation thanks to open competition for the sale of those rights. So that figure speaks for itself; it is vitally important.

  Q1539  Chairman: And the position before BSkyB had the exclusive rights, correct me if I am wrong with these figures, was that when Test cricket was still a listed event you received £33.5m from the BBC?

  Mr Collier: That is correct.

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