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Sight Screen

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nota Bene

Nimbus, this report says, has won the rights to telecast all Pakistan international cricket for the next three years. (A stray thought -- will the BCCI allow Channel 9 or Channel 4 etc to bid for telecast rights of Indian cricket?)
He said Nimbus took interest probably because its sponsorship period covers the Indian team's tour to Pakistan early in 2006 to play three Tests and five one-day internationals.
"Then, Pakistan is also hosting the Asia Cup (after the Indian series in 2006) which again features India, while it is also due to host strong teams like South Africa and Australia in the contract period," said the source.

Also, consider this:
The source said all bids for the three-year contract were opened on Wednesday by the board with chairman Shaharyar Khan also present, wrote the paper.

I am sort of puzzled. You mean that is all there is to it? You invite sealed bids, you open them in public, in the presence of the decision makers, you determine which the highest bid is, and you announce the winner?
That simple? Really? Truly?
Then someone please tell me why the BCCI, with its infinitely superior resources, with its infinitely more 'experienced' administrators, all operating within the paradigm of a fully functional democratic system, haven't managed to sort out our own television rights issue in two years now, and counting?
Did someone say 'greed'?
Might seem to you like a small issue, not worth fussing about. IMHO, it is not. At a larger level, it shows you how things are run -- or not run - and helps explain the state of the game. At the narrower, but still important level, it deprives us, the fans, of much-needed enjoyment.
For instance, there was a wistful tone in Harsha's mail yesterday, where he wrote of watching the coverage of the Super Series out of Australia (I remember him making a similar comment when the Ashes was on). He was making the point that the India-Sri Lanka series is around the corner -- and no one knows, yet, who is going to be telecasting it.
His point is obvious -- to mount a high-quality television coverage takes time, and planning. The professional channels work months ahead of each series, putting things together, inspecting grounds, mapping their camera layouts, digging through archives for footage that could come in handy to explain, enhance the action.
Harsha, and a few others who work for the Indian channels, take pride in what they do; they believe they can equal the best -- thing though is, the 'best' get months to prepare; the Bhogles of this world get days... sometimes, just hours.


  • PRem

    Has the BCCI always been this bad? Or is it only off late that we notice these blemishes?

    How was the administration in the 80s or 70s. I shudder to think about the casting vote against Pataudi. About the teams picked in the 60s, 70s and 80s. We had various jokers playing international cricket those days while people like VV Kumar sat cooling their heels.

    I guess there has been some improvement, but it could have been better. But I amless cynical about the current admn than the ones we had in the bygone eras.

    By Blogger vshan, at 11:47  

  • Like i said in my earlier post, PAK admin is more efficient, they keep things simple. Tel rights is not a rocket science. But, bosses in board, waiting to see, how much dough they can make from companies.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 11:57  

  • dude, leave the BCCI alone. I'd rather have morass of mediocrity than a despotic board like Zimbabwe. Your incessant snipin' at the BCCI reflects a lack of knowledge of India. The board is typically Indian. Name one other organisation in India that strives and attains excellence in terms of management and performance ... I suppose maybe companies like Infosys etc ... maybe... why expect BCCI to be different.

    By Blogger ram, at 11:58  

  • ram...so you are happy with whatever BCCI dishes out...comeon expect better things from a org which is governing richest sport in India.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:02  

  • ram: I see. In other words, you suggest I adopt this policy of, hey, what the hell, we are Indians after all, it is -- what is that phrase our censors often use? -- 'against the national culture' to demand, expect, competence, professionalism.

    You suggest I look not up, at the heights the country, and its respective organizations, could reach, but down, into the dumps, and tell myself, okay, we aren't hot, but hey, thank god we are not down and out like those blokes there.

    Maybe you are right; but to my mind, being satisfied with mediocrity is the biggest hurdle in the path of excellence -- and I don't believe it is a crime to want excellence, in an organization that represents my country in a game I care deeply about.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:19  

  • Prem..totally agree.

    Why should anyone accept this kind of stupidity from an Org. Comparing to Zim and saying we are better is a joke.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 12:24  

  • Prem, HT is NOT referring to telecasting rights, but sponsorship eg. "title sponsorship, co-sponsorship and in-stadia advertising rights". The rights for Pak- Eng were sold separately and are worth RS 40 million or £400,000. So, a contract for 3 years could be worth say £ 3- 6 million - not a big deal really.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 13:22  

  • I agree that pursuit of standards of excellence is worthy one but it should be looked at against a backdrop of our culture. BCCI is indicative of a malaise that permeates India ... the 'good enough' culture. To change that culture what we need is the spirit of competition to be encouraged. For example if I were to say Ganguly should be retired for good and other players brought in, there will no doubt interminable number of comments on his past record and heroic performance in some pointless ODI rather than comparing him current talent that is available. Chappell tells it like it is and everyone talks nonsense in defence of Ganguly. This is but an example, liberalisation will help but the culture is too rotten to change overnight and that is why i feel your incessant berating of BCCI is largely pointless. Sorry for the rambling nature of the post.

    By Blogger ram, at 13:24  

  • Prem...a very honest comment from my side....firstly I agree with what you just responded to ram (sorry for barging in on this one)...but I do feel that sometimes you fail to give a bit of credit to BCCI when its due....they are poorly managed....but that doesnt mean there isnt a single good (and well managed) act that they do?

    a recent example....you criticised BCCI when they recently announced a review of the contracts (and I pointed this out to you)....the thing is....your criticism was that they made the *original* contracts poorly...and you also narrated incidents of how it took years for them to come out with the contracts...and that too faulty. In this case...sure they may have come out with faulty contracts (I dont know)....but then...that *was* a mistake....now what they have announced is an effort for correction of that mistake. Why use this occasion to criticize the mistake again?...ofcourse they may botch up this one too....but then lets wait for it?

    And btw..on a totally separate issue...Nimbus is a production company..isn't it so? So they would still have to tie up with some channels in Pak..India etc? BCCI has gone for a more direct route...asking the Channels to bid (and if Ten Sports can, why not Channel 9?....they just need to launch a tv channel in India...thats all). Also, btw...didn't WorldTel get the production deal from BCCI long time back?...just like Nimbus now?

    By Blogger worma, at 13:30  

  • Isnt there some kind of goverment clause that prevents overseas 'channels' to broadcast "Indian programming" in India?

    For example BBC cannot make Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi and air it in India (not that they would want to make such crap).

    However, they can air 'Goodness Gracious me" in India which is classified as 'Overseas Programming'.

    Don't know if this ruling prevents the Channel 9's of the world to get rights for Cricket in India (i.e. Games played in India)

    Again, I am ignorant on this one, but was just wondering...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 14:05  

  • Issac, whether the contract is for sponsorship or telecast rights, the main issue is the non-rocketscience, non-top-secret, uncumbersome nature of the process of awarding contracts that can be followed instead of the inane way employed by BCCI and the ensuing waste of scarce judicial and other resources.

    By Blogger Gardhabh, at 14:13  

  • saurabh, Saas bhi... is a revenue generating piece of crap. So, BBC might disagree with what you said :)
    In addition to the "Indian programming" part, didnt the Courts also force broadcasters to share the feed with DD, DD being the channel with max viewership? Such factors could also be a deterrent to foreign media companies trying their luck in INdia.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:26  

  • toney...saurabh....the BCCI has floated the tender for tv rights for games in India...so obviously the bidder has to be operating in India (and unlike Pak, I think in India only tv channels are being allowed to bid, not production companies).

    And if I know correctly the tv channels in India need to have some percentage(majority) stake of an Indian company....wasn't there this recent emborglio of Star when the Indian shareholder sold off his rights(?)....anyways....also another rule that the uplink has to be from Indian territory...so not from HongKong (as some used to do earlier....ESPN also?)...maybe this is not the entirity of it....

    By Blogger worma, at 14:40  

  • oh, the bane of Indian Cricket -- BCCI. The rate at which we are going, we need to have a permanent department in High Court and Supreme Court for handling all BCCI related issues. BCCI is making them work overnight. All these BCCI bigshots are interested in, are making money out of everything and giving big statements. Other than bringing down the name of Indian Cricket, they haven't done anything of repute. Unless, we remove these politicians from BCCI, this situation is never going to improve. I read, in one of Sharad Pawar's interview, that we need politicians to take care of things at an administrative level and cricketers should be needed to handle all technical things, but I don't agree with this. Politicians bring politicking and corruption. If we take the example of other well run cricketing bodies like Australia and New Zealand, they have professional administrators running them ( Martin Snedden for New Zealand, is indeed a cricketer ). I think, India should go that way, for it to be successful. But will it ever go that way ? I don't see that happening in the near future. Lets see what our buddy, Rahul Mehra does. Hope he succeeds.

    By Blogger sv, at 15:10  

  • Toney, BBC gets £10/month as TV licence from about 50 million homes in the UK.

    £6 billion a year! And that's not counting money they make from selling their programs to other overseas channels...

    They don't have any ads and hence not really concerned with Viewing figures, so something like "Saas bhi" would not interest them.

    At least I hope not, else I will demand my 10 bucks back :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 16:53  

  • sorry, its 15 million homes, so make that a mere £ 2 billion...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 16:55  

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