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Sight Screen

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Flat screen

The BCCI has decided not to go in for its own TV channel. Ranbir Singh Mahindra says there was never any proposal for the BCCI to get into the broadcast business --which is a touch strange; he probably did not attend the working committee meeting at which former president Inderjit Singh Bindra and RCA chief Lalit Modi raised the issue.
Makes me wonder whether the decision to not consider a TV channel of its own has more to do with politics, than with any practical considerations -- remember, TV is one of Modi's businesses; he is the one with the plan and the expertise, and Modi is not exactly persona grata with the BCCI honchos after his upset win over the Rungtas in Rajasthan, and the threat he poses to the ruling Dalmiya-led faction.
Be a pity, if that is the case -- a dedicated channel for cricket makes enormous sense. Financially, because the cricket administration gets to keep television revenues for itself, rather that share with the broadcasters of each particular series. Cricket-wise, because a dedicated cricket channel, flush with funds, can afford during downtime to screen Ranji and Duleep matches and even, as Modi points out, inner-city games; this equals more exposure (more? there is *no* exposure right now) for the up and coming players.
What amused me was this comment of Mahindra's:
I am not in favour of any such channel. Our purpose is cricket and not to run a commercial enterprise

You could have fooled me -- this is a body who milks cricket to the tune of 100-plus crore profits each year, and its purpose is 'not to run a commercial enterprise'?
Well, guess what, chief, maybe it's time to rewrite the BCCI charter -- it should be about running a commercial enterprise, because once you decide you are an industry, perhaps you will perforce pay attention to some aspects of running an industry: product development (that means quality stadia, planned talent search, structured coaching academies and oh yes, a professional administration).


  • Exposing domestic cricket is extremely important. And I think there is a lot of money to be made.
    My only concern with BCCI owned channel is that, it will monopolize everything related to Indian cricket in the hands of BCCI. Given the current administration, I am not sure if its a good thing.
    Indian TV works very different from the US cable channels. NBA also has NBA TV, but its premium cable and you have to pay a lot more money. If BCCI comes up with a channell, given the cable structure in India, cable operators will charge a little more money for everyone and everyone gets the channel. DD can probably get rights for games in India by claiming to be "junta channel", but other than that everyone is out of the euqation. Had BCCI been an efficient organization, this would have been a good thing, but I am not so sure!! Any opinions??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38  

  • Prem, Do you have any idea of what happened to that PIL? Rediff had reported last month that there was some kinda court appointment on May 25th. Any news on what happened?

    By Blogger anantha, at 12:44  

  • I dont care who gets the right to telecast the series. However I would like to the entire over, instead of the standard 5 ball over. See where the ball was hit by the batsman, rather than the amateur cameraman searching for the ball, and none of the silly programming that is happenning in the name of attracting the fairer audience. I know, NBA spells out the rules before giving their rights to TNT, ABC, ESPN etc. I wish BCCI could spell it out when they are awarding the rights.
    But I guess this will remain a pipedream, coz BCCI is hellbent on maximising their profit, and the channels squeeze it out from the public.

    By Blogger Geoffrey George, at 13:33  

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