Thursday, October 27, 2005

The TV rights ruling from GoI

When I was in India, a couple of weeks(or a month) before each important cricket series (and most of it fell i that categories) there was a drama enacted in our tv worlds. The private channel holding the rights for the series (ESPN, SET, Ten anyone) invariably increased their subscription prices for the cable operators. And invariably the cable operators boycotted that channel.

And then started the phase of negotiations, arm-twisting, backdoor transactions etc etc. And the poor public was left wondering, till the last moment, whether we get to see the matches at all, and 'where'? This was especially so in the matches outside India, because for home matches, it was almost a 'rule' which we could rely on, that DD would get the rights (shared or exclusive) any time before the first ball was bowled. And sometimes we had to miss out on these matches because the cable operators could not broker a solution with the channel.

And to imagine that it's the same 'pay' channels, driving us to desperation for that illusive match coverage, who then cram their telecast with sponsorship advertisements in all possible manners, often at the cost of quality of coverage.

So, what's the provocation for this rant, you ask? Well this report today, that ESPN is not happy with the government mandate of sharing the tv feed with Prasar Bharti.

For, was it not for this reason, then most of the channels should not mind the 'sharing' formula mandated by GoI where the channel holding the right gets an 80% cut of the revenue DD generates from its broadcast of those matches. Meaning...those viewers who have both channels would anyway watch the (supposedly) superior private broadcast, and those who have only DD(and the number is huge) would be generating extra revenue for the private channel (via DD)...this immediately shoots up the potential revenue generation customer base of the private channels.

The only downside being that it reduces the scope of the platform from which the private channels can compete with DD for new customer base. Which, I think, is anyway not the main worry for private channels (they, I think, are competing amongst themselves. The range and reach of DD is not exactly intersecting with their target market).

What say?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Back...after long time

Ok..long time no updates. Reason...mixed...sort of, been busy since the vacation...then some computer problems...and then not much happening in real cricketing terms. Have been writing about off-field activities on Sight Screen.

I would rather spend twice as much time writing about real good cricket (preferably international matches) than on the repetitive off-field activities and meaningless matches(like Super series etc)

Anyways...just a filler...caught my eye on cricinfo...some really interesting quotes in the cricketing section. Do go read them in full....but here are some of my favorites:

"I was invited to Bush's ranch and when I said I had a home in Antigua, he asked me to explain cricket to him because it looks a bit like polo and baseball combined ... only without the horses. We discussed it for half an hour."
Allen Stanford, who is investing £16 million in West Indies cricket, explains the rudimentaries to the American President
So, one can rely on George Bush to always provide the relief! I wonder if he considers formula 1 as "sort of, like hockey(ice)...only with cars" :-) (and no, don't ask me to explain ;-)

"I just came for the food."
Andrew Flintoff tells it as it is and leaves ICC spin doctors spluttering in their pasta after being named joint Player of the Year at a glitzy event in Sydney
Although said in jest, it might have held true for Freddie some years ago!

and finally
"I thought it was a bit rude when the umpire gestured me with a finger so I showed my middle one back."
Crystal Palace midfielder Aki Riihilati shows why footballers will never be the new cricketers after he plays his first match
..and now we also know why we wont have a Finnish national cricket team ;-)