Sky Blame | Innovation Geographies | I'm Bored!

When it comes to sporting drama, it’s hard to think of much that will better England and New Zealand’s offering last Sunday at Lord's. Thankfully, Sky partnered with Channel 4 to make England’s bid to lift the World Cup for the first time ever available to the whole of the UK. A combined peak audience of 8.3 million saw England’s dramatic win on TV, with 4.8m of those watching on the terrestrial channel. Very commendable figures but put into some context, they were substantially smaller than those for the Lionesses’ recent run to the semi-finals of the women’s football World Cup and the coverage of the Men’s Wimbledon final. The euphoria around last Sunday’s epic encounter has seen the Government face increasing pressure this week to add the World Cup and the Ashes to the crown jewels of live sport reserved for free-to-air television, joining the likes of the Olympics, Grand National and the men’s football World Cup. Given Sky has only recently agreed to pay £1.1 billion for the rights to show all of England’s home cricket games from 2020 to 2024 the probability of a return to terrestrial channels any time soon appear slim. There is a (growing) trend to blame the likes of Sky for falling participation numbers of kids playing sport. Of course they are impressionable and would benefit from watching their heroes more regularly, but Sky’s money into cricket has funded a great deal of coaching, youth development and improved facilities, not to mention allowed women’s cricket to have a professional set-up at international level. And we should not forget that England are the current World Cup holders in both the men's and women’s game. Cricket really has come home!

The Weekly loves a bit of research on World Cities, and this week we were treated to JLL’s latest offering from their cities' programme - ‘Innovation Geographies’. In their report, they explored over 100 cities worldwide to quantify their innovation and talent attributes, concluding that cities with the strongest combination of the two have outperformed in economic terms over the last couple of decades. Perhaps more interestingly for The Weekly readership is that there appears to be a robust link between innovation and talent-rich cities and real estate performance. In short, the top performing cities in the index have recorded the fastest, most vigorous office rental growth over the past decade and are attracting a higher proportion of real estate capital. Total returns also tend to be higher in these cities. San Francisco, Tokyo and Singapore make up the podium positions (in that order), with London currently ranked seventh. However, competition is increasing, particularly from the likes of Austin, Amsterdam and Melbourne, whilst more Chinese cities are expected in the global top 20 as they build sophisticated innovation ecosystems. Just another thing then for our new Prime Minster to focus on when he takes office on Wednesday!

School is finally out and whilst for many the opportunity to head to the sun as a family is the highlight of the year, for many parents it marks the start of a difficult and expensive period, wondering just how they are they going to fill six weeks keeping their little Alex and Roses entertained, let alone how they’re going to pay for it! According to a survey published in the always-reliant Sun newspaper, parents face a bill of more than £1,260 keeping their teens amused during the summer holidays. And according to Explore Learning, most parents are dreading the coming weeks, with 61% claiming the summer holidays should be shorter! The Sun’s study found the phrase parents fear most - “I’m bored” - is likely to be first uttered just eight days into the holidays, with 15% of parents hearing it within three days. Some children will apparently utter these dreaded words more than 200 times over the next six weeks! It’s tempting, of course, to do almost anything to distract kids and keep them entertained but according to Dr Holan Diang, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, it’s wise to let your children be bored. “Rather than constantly providing external stimulation to children, it is far better to allow children to experience boredom, to learn to tolerate it and find their own solutions to escape it, as they will be required to do this in adult life”. Whilst it is hard to argue with that sentiment on Day 2 of the holidays, The Weekly suspects her advice will be less favourably received this time next month!