BCCI, now wants to promote “Brand” BCCI. The channel is a step in that direction. What does the channel mean to the common man? Will it be available free-to-air? You gotta be kidding if you think that would be the case, how will the BCCI earn money then? So stupid of me to even think on those lines. Afterall, BCCI is the richest of all cricket boards in the world (and also was once stupid enough to suggest that ‘Team India’ is actually not representing India, but BCCI…and I think that was one of the early signs of success and money going into BCCI’s head)
Let’s take a closer look on how does the cricket television rights war hits the “common man”.
For a cricket fan, the only question that matters is — Will s/he be able to watch cricket on a free-to-air channel (read DD) or not. Whether the cricket is on at Ten Sports, Zee Sports, ESPN or Sony – it does not make a difference.
In the cases when cricket can be viewed on Doordarshan, it is usually a “sharing” arrangement between the Cable Channel and DD. When that doesn’t happen, it is the common man’s cricket that looses.
What will BCCI’s new channel add to this? Fuel to the fire.
BCCI will just retain the allocation of the cricket feed rights to itself. Whether it would be available for Prasar Bharti (DD’s momma company) is going to be decided, most probably, in one of the courts in our country, a few days before each tour begins. Back to square one. I hope I am proved wrong.
Cricket, in India, is a big cow that milks money. BCCI is the owner. They certainly have started acting as if they are the owners of the game worldwide. Example, they say that India shall not participate in The ICC Champions trophy. Why? It’s not economically feasible. According to Cricinfo:
“BCCI made fairly clear signals that it did not support the ICC fund-raising concept which it believed reduced its own earning potential.”
” ‘We’re not free in October in 2007, 2008 or 2009,” BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi told reporters on Monday. “We have made our position clear to the ICC many times. If others want to play, they can, but why should we play in October?’ ”
So the Governing Body of the Game can go to hell. I believe that ICC has always been a very weak body. But BCCI has made a mockery of what remained of The ICC.
Want more? BCCI shall not host Bangladesh in India for a test series because it is not “economically feasible”. So will India be playing Bangladesh? Yes, India would be touring Bangladesh next year. More From Mr.Bindra:
” ‘They make more money by our going there. If they come to India, they will get only meal allowance. If we go there they make huge television revenue and title sponsorship.’ ”
It’s a clear case of making money at the cost of Cricket. The BCCI has decided that it does not need to venture into anything that doesn’t bring them money. Money is the name of the game. (BCCI’s former president prefers to call it “Professionalism”) So, by that logic, they should stop organising first class matches altogether. After all, first class cricket is not known for generating revenue.
Where does the money go? Our first class cricketers play to empty stands and still travel by train you know. Uhh.. there was some talk about “transparency” too, when Mr Pawar came to hold the BCCI reigns, err…what about it?