Ben Warren: Can digital media save County Championship cricket?


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Cricket, lovely cricket.

England's national sport has been under pressure for many years, with the four-day County Championship widely perceived as the domestic competition in the most precarious position.

However, there has been genuine hope in the blossoming audience for a relatively basic video streaming service synced with the traditional radio commentary.

Ben Warren, Somerset CCC

Ben Warren, Somerset CCC

It is a League-Wide scheme developed by the England and Wales Cricket Board but Somerset CCC have been at the forefront. Digital marketing & communications executive Ben Warren runs the service for the club.

Like many county devotees, he is fiercely protective of a game that is overlooked but far from unloved.

With a controversial new franchise-based tournament starting next season and threatening to take attention from the longer-form game, the pressure is on.

But can digital media really help save county cricket?


1:48 Content strategy in a nutshell and how it has evolved

3:50 Live streams of the four-day games - the proposition and the surprising popularity

6:14 The quality of our video product "far away from a TV product"

9:37 500,000 views in 35 days last season and 100,000 for the first three days in a pre-season friendly

13:34 Whether the new digital product is a lifeline for county cricket?

16:01 Early thoughts on monetisation

18:31 "The product is not a level where we would expect a fee"

22:21 Would sponsorship be possible when your product is using BBC commentary teams

24:43 Tapping into the passion of the Indian subcontinent

27:01 Engagement patterns and utilising wifi at the ground

29:35 The different cadence of county cricket. The value in being 'quality background noise'

30:31 Fulfilling the expectations of the crowd for a live experience

31:32 The digital team at Somerset and covering away games

32:19 The in-play clips of boundaries, milestones and wickets. The popularity (around 10m view last year) and the system that creates them.

33:45 Has the new digital content really brought in new spectators

36:01 Don't put paid-for walls around a new product

37:10 What will be the effect of the Hundred?

41:24 Taking lessons from the franchise model in cricket and starting from scratch

44:43 "IPL is the perfect scenario for content"

46:20 The trick of getting fans engaged in new stories

47:50 Who creates great content in county cricket

49:34 Somerset's developments in the upcoming season


Ben Warren Twitter | LinkedIn

Somerset CCC Web | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Highlights package created from live stream footage.

75 episodes