The continuing TV news channels boycott notwithstanding, Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi expects a successful third edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 event starting March 12.
“The preparations are in full swing and there are no hiccups. We all are ready to go. We have planned a very good opening night as well as opening ceremony with a spectacular laser and fireworks show,” Modi said at a media conference to announce IPL’s latest tie-up with Karbonn Mobiles.
Modi said the boycott by the TV news channels is continuing though they had accepted a new set of proposals two nights ago.
“Nantional Broadcasters’ Association’s is a strange case. The IPL Governing Council and their representatives had a meeting two nights ago and we had agreed to allow certain amount of flexibility in their programming and amount of video footage that can be shown,” the IPL chief said.
But Modi explained that there was a change of heart on the broadcasters’ end within 24 hours and last night a few of them came to ask for more concessions which, he said, cannot be granted.
“They agreed then but last night came back to say they needed more concessions which the Governing Council cannot agree. The boycott continues though I would like them to cover the event but not on the new terms,” he said.
Modi said the bone of contention was post-match programmes with IPL footage rights of which were with official broadcasters Sony only.
But Modi was not too worried about IPL’s stand-off with NBA and said he expected the TRP ratings of the IPL action to get boosted.
“People can see IPL action on Sony and YouTube (with whom the League has struck a deal to show complete ‘live’ action with a five-minute delay for India),” he said.
Modi said the cricket fans in India were eager to see action inside the stadium after missing it last year when the tournament had to be staged in South Africa because of security concerns as it was clashing with the general elections.
“People are waiting for IPL to start. We are going to stage it with lot of innovations. IPL will take a new avatar,” he declared.
Modi also said that the central revenue pool will be doubled as compared to last year with so many new deals having been struck by the IPL.