The current version of IPL is more of accentuating the commercial proposition in as manifest ways as it can be possible, though it might inconvenience the viewers but does anybody care? The present version is characterized by advertisements after each ball and it could be either in the form of a commercial, or if the commercial is not available then the camera is focused on the advertisement that is appearing on the side screen.
Does it remind you of something, the new initiative that is, and a reconnect with something in the past. Well, to refresh the memory, telecast of cricket matches on the Doordarshan was characterized by this initiative. The viewers used to chafe in their seats, but could not do anything, as there was no other broadcaster during those times in India. When private broadcasters made their debut, the spectators were treated royally, i.e. the telecast was not of the advertisements interspersed with matches, but telecast of matches with sparing advertisements. Now the ball has indeed turned full circle and it appears in the third season that it is more of advertisements that are telecast at a particular point of time, than what is happening around on the ground.
As a part of this initiative a min-zeppelin shaped balloon also hangs in the area just above the ground advertising the product of a company, and this new initiative could see more such hanging advertisements in the air from such zeppelin shaped contraptions. Who knows by the time the next major tournament is on the anvil some kind of an initiative is introduced in as a package, which provides financial incentive every time the batsman touches it, or touches the name of the product. There indeed is a distinct possibility as initiative of such kind associated with billboards displayed on the ground has already been taken.
Necessity indeed is the mother of innovation but what would happen if the initiatives become so absurd that the viewers decide to switch of the television sets. Once they decide to do it, the TRP ratings of the programs would indeed fall down and it would have a major impact on the revenue generation initiatives. After all, all the innovations are to capture the eyeballs, and if the eyeballs decide to turn their attention away what purpose would such innovations serve? A judicious mixture of telecast and advertisements is the need of the hour if eyeballs have to be riveted on to the television screen.
By: Suman Rai