Who is to say that the Web itself is not encouraging the spread of Cricket to American audiences? There is no doubt it’s an exciting enough sport to catch on here — it may just be a challenge of discovery, within a crowded sports market, and perhaps image.
Cricket is wildly popular on many other continents and in massively populated lands, like India. To tell the truth, it could be that this game may be perceived as a challenge to the enshrined American game of baseball.
Loyalty to Baseball?
A meaningful difference between Cricket and Baseball at the most basic level (both being bat-oriented games) is the playable field. In Baseball there is but 25% of the field space that is in play with Cricket, in which balls can be hit 360-degrees.
That simple detail might produce some kind of philosophical or cultural rub in America — who knows! It’s just the sort of minor cultural phobia (even if it’s unconscious) that the Internet tends to clear up in no time.
Web’s New Playing Fields
Just as many previously inaccessible forms of entertainment (deprived to some by their location or laws, for instance) have been delivered to all by the Web, Cricket is gaining followers along that channel. Similarly, certain states in the US are picking up the buzz from the UK and Europa where people have a ball playing online casino games for money.
The same goes for robust online and mobile bingo. Many other traditional, land-based games are finding a greatly expanded base of enthusiasts when their online representation and image improves.
It’s an organic process, much like ‘viral’ content in general. But one thing that might be reasoned from a rise in popularity of something, something like Cricket — in part through its coverage on the Web — is that it is a kind of proof of its actual following world-wide.
Cricket By the People
As we all know, there is plenty of hype when the media channels promote certain sports. The Web’s coverage of a sport like Cricket exists outside and independent of that tight control by the commercial side of sports.
As it may be with cultural items and games that spread from the corners of the globe into new areas, the coverage of it outside hot-spots like the UK, India, Australia and South Africa may be taken up by amateur reporters.
Yet, as we see in many ultra-modern entertainments, like console gaming, the ranks of hobbyists and amateurs directly influence the major players.
In this case, the major media will be able to take note of the groundswell for Cricket, for example in America, before gambling on putting it in the TV schedule.
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