Numbers vary from match to match but typically there are well over 20 visiting media at every day of play. This is at levels previously encountered only when India is touring. Even England, with its famous press, and Australia do not match that level of coverage.
In New Zealand we can overlook the fact that Bangladesh has 160 million inhabitants, has a growing economy, and cricket totally dominates sports coverage. It is also a country with an extremely varied and competitive media landscape.
What makes this level of interest even more notable in the number of TV organisations present; especially when none of them have broadcasting rights. The seven or eight different networks have each sent out a representative.
They file various reports during the day, get interviews with the likes of Hamish Marshall, then file another report from the hotel for the evening bulletins back home before turning in every night. Friday was a particularly busy day.
Some of the arrangements involve sponsorship along the lines of “This coverage is brought to you in association with…” That grates for some, but at least it is coverage.
Typically it is just a solitary reporter per organisation. You might think that would make recording video hard; typically you need a camera operator too. But, although in competition, the reporters are a collegial bunch, as they take turns to multi-task, and help each other out. These guys are a close bunch, and are just really happy to be doing what they are doing.
There has been no New Zealand TV representation, other than from SKY, at any of the matches on tour.
Newspapers and websites are similarly covered.
The main feedback from them is that New Zealand is a very expensive place to travel around. “Until I found a shop called The Warehouse. I wish I knew about that earlier.”
While the media here shrinks and amalgamates into itself there is something refreshing about this approach. It shows there is another way.
And the best question, asked in good faith, goes to a Sydney-based reporter on the first day at the Basin: “When does summer start in New Zealand?”