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Ashes responses

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Alex Gubbay Alex Gubbay | 14:16 UK time, Monday, 22 January 2007

Thanks to all those of you who took time to tell us about how we covered the Ashes. As we plan our cricket coverage for the coming months, the feedback is timely and instructive - the comments make a very handy printout!
In the meantime, with input from some of my colleagues, here's a stab at some of the common themes raised...

* Red button
This was one of the first times we have used dynamic graphical information on the commentary stream, so it's very encouraging that many people used it, and are keen it should be enhanced, either with still pictures, different statistics or other options. We are too, and hope to develop the service in future, for the World Cup and then perhaps other Tests or matches.

* Podcast
We are currently only allowed to offer audio to download or listen to online for a period of seven days. Which is why some of you returned from Oz but were unable to relive the excitement (or misery?!) from earlier in the series.

We're considering what we might offer for download during the Cricket World Cup. What would you like to hear or watch? And how often - daily, every couple of days or weekly?

* Web highlights
The deal agreed for the online rights meant we had limited direct control over the content in the packages, though it's fair to say we were equally keen to ensure the voiceovers were kept to a minimum! And point taken on usage of the TV titles - they were not optimised for the web - though again, we made sure these didn't cut into the amount of actual cricket shown.

The highlights were streamed at the BBC's standard broadband quality of 256k. We are constantly looking to improve the performance of our live streams for sports events - but it's a tricky one as there is something of a trade-off between the quality of video and cost to the BBC/licence fee payers to serve it.

As for what we can broadcast and where, the simplest thing to say is that we aim to make as much of our coverage available to as many people, but that is obviously subject to the various rights agreements and restrictions in place.

* Blog/online updates
We appreciate that the tone of some of our live updates, or focus of comment on our blogs may not be to everyone's tastes all the time.
But it is really gratifying, for us as editors but also our journalists, to know so many of you are relying on and also enjoying our coverage of live sport, as well as responding to our bloggers and other users.

We are always looking at ways to develop and make these two areas as usable, useful and engaging as possible. So any specific thoughts on these aspects of the website are always welcome... even if it's not yet quite in our power to award our staff MBEs!

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