Watching Cricket in the USA
Living in the USA means having to be creative if you follow South African sports. Especially cricket.
Over the past five years, technology has made it so much easier, though I’ve had to jump through a few hoops to get what I want. My latest mission was figuring out how to watch today's World Cup cricket game (SA vs. NZ) on my own TV without paying a fortune. I’m sure there are lots of techie wizards out their who've done much more geeky things than will be described in this article, but this is the tale of what I did.
There is a satellite system called DISH network that carries the cricket to your TV. I have cable TV, and wasn't going to go out and get a second provider with all of the equipment set-up, with the contract as well, just for the right to then pay lots more for the World Cup package. I recalled the previous ways I have followed live cricket before...Watching the score tick on the web without any written text is the most basic form.
That was how I followed Jacques Kallis amazing run of centuries a few years back late at night. Next up on that is waiting for the cricinfo.com commentators to type up their ball-by-ball comments. The next step up from that was when BBCs Radio Five Live broadcast their radio commentary online, I thought about sitting in front of my PC on a Saturday to hear some cricket. At the time, Skype allowed free calls from one's PC to US telephone numbers, including cell phones. I started streaming the Radio Five Live commentary, I directed my microphone to pick up my speaker sound, dialed my cell phone from Skype and then used my hands free all day to listen to cricket.
Unfortunately from 1 Jan 2007, Skype stopped the free calls to US numbers.There are now several websites that are offering live cricket feeds for a fee. www.Willow.tv is one that seems to be partnered with Dish to bring you the world cup for about $200 at the start, and now its down to about $100. www.CricketonTV.com was the site that caught my eye where one could pay for the full package, or watch a single game for $15.
The site I used today was actually given to me by a work colleague who follows India. He has no further need for his login, and gave it to me about 3 seconds after India went out of the competition. I connected my wireless laptop to the TV with an S-Video connection, set up the TV as a second screen, and hey presto, live cricket on TV. Oh, and free as well.
There are some sites like www.kuduclub.com that one can subscribe to for about $10 a month that allow you to watch Carte Blanche and EGoli as well as provincial ruby, some high school rugby etc. One thing I am certain of is that over the next five years this can only become easier.