Indian Premier League 2009 April 16, 2009

IPL games to take 15 minutes more

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Fans who have become accustomed to Twenty20 matches lasting just three hours are in for a surprise during the second season of the IPL - they will now last three-and-a-quarter hours. Part of the appeal of the shortest form of the game is the non-stop action but IPL games will now take longer and there will be no action at all during the added time.

The IPL are planning to market the added time as an 'innovation' by calling it a tactical 'time out' but the fact that each innings will now come to a halt for seven-and-a-half minutes after exactly 10 overs makes it neither tactical nor, indeed, practical.

"It is a move that is driven completely and totally by commercial objectives," a senior production official told Cricinfo. "It is designed purely to make even more money by selling airtime. Nobody could argue that this adds any cricketing value to the tournament or that it can be in the viewers' interest, either in the stadium or watching at home," the official said.

The seven-and-a-half minute break will see the stadium crowd entertained by a live band while television audiences will watch three, separate two-and-a-half minute segments, two of which will be sold commercially. The third will show the teams taking drinks and discussing 'tactics' to add some validity to the argument for the 'time out.'

While one section will be compulsory, mainstream advertising, the other will be set aside for 'special projects'. Queen Rania of Jordan, well known for her agenda of social reform and progression, will lead the way with a series of short films aimed at African children expounding the importance of education.

The IPL can justifiably claim that the project is well intentioned and for a good cause. And at approximately $1million per episode, it's also very lucrative. There are 118 two-and-half minute slots for sale.

Production teams have also been told that they need to fit 2000 seconds (around 33 minutes) of advertising into every match, a task described by a different member of the production team as "virtually impossible."

"It means taking about 40 seconds of advertising between every over and close to a minute at the fall of every wicket. It's OK in theory but it hardly ever works like that. If a team only loses two or three wickets, or the match finishes in 15 overs, we are in trouble," the same production official said.

In March, the IPL signed a fresh US $1.8 billion broadcast-rights deal for 10 years with Multi Screen Media (MSM), which operates under the Sony umbrella, and World Sports Group (WSG). The matches are being telecast by Supersport, the South African broadcaster which holds the tournament rights in that country.

Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mahek on April 17, 2009, 21:49 GMT

    Has everyone missed the part where they're going to have social cause documentaries? And why weren't people complaining when matches went way past the time they were supposed to end? If these "timeouts" coupled with heavy fines ensure games get over in 3 hours 15 minutes then it's totally worth it. Don't forget only 5 out of these 15 minutes are being used to commercial ads.

  • shankar on April 17, 2009, 9:07 GMT

    Don't see why any adjustment made to make more money is seen as something bad. Getting all very theoretical and occupying high moral ground about what is essentially entertainment. Chill man. Money matters. Why resist it. If certain adjustments can be made to ensure better revenues, why not! Cynics, you can't win them. The same guys who would have opposed the creation of a game in an earlier era (go to your room and study, they would say!) or more recently the popularization of one day cricket.

  • Chandra on April 17, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    To respond to CricketisMyPassion about commercials in football and cricket, my point is when I'm watching the game, I don't like the interruption. I do understand the commercial interests and also that nothing comes free. Most importantly though, (most of) our commentators and players are good at their work. Commentators add serious value to the game with their opinions and ideas. You need to make sure that that is valued. From my experience in the US, I never saw Al Michaels interrupted as often by Budwiser commercials as Gavaskar is by Mentos! Companies have to sell properly. Companies there know you CANNOT hurt the fan. They can take him/her for a ride once, but not always. But I guess the fans should earn the respect. And I'm going to earn mine by not watching IPL this time on.

  • Ridhwaan on April 17, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    interesting ploy. terrible for the viwers and players but reason for commercials i would say it cost much more to host such an event in SA than in India. any other ideas??????

  • Keith on April 17, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    Hey Mr. Sizzling_XI, are you really going to wait for a mid match break to grab a snack??? Try between the over break(Just a thought) As for mid match break & extended commercials in between overs, we will only lose maybe the first tow deliveries in each over. WOW.

  • thejaswee sai on April 17, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    It's actually good for the team players,because they might get tired in the field and its also difficult for taking catches and risks.If its boooring then go to sleep.-sai valluru

  • Ranil on April 17, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    If cricket is a business this will be fine. If it is a sport it will add to the boredom and meaninglessness of 20/20 cricket. 20/20 will be the ruination of the game.

    Ranil Mendis

  • Speetaman on April 17, 2009, 4:10 GMT

    Now this is a very stupid idea. Cricket lovers all over the world want to see the cricket action non stop. It is ok to air a couplr of ads when a batsman gets out. And that is it. In between the innings there is an approx 15-20 minutes break. They can give all the commercials they want during that period. I am deadly against this extra 15 minutes they have given specially when they break the concentratin of the players during an innings giving a 7 and a half minute break to air stupid commercials. NO. NO. NO.

  • roger on April 17, 2009, 2:00 GMT

    This break is good for teams as it may generate more revenue which is the central idea of IPL ....commercialization. If anyone feel bore they do n't need to see it. This is a typical western wolf cry, when any innovative change done by IPL, BCCI or for that matter anything related to india. Recently cricinfo stopped this kind of nonsense articles (it used to be every other article against BCCI/IPL which was subsidizes since last one year after IPL mega success) Hope commonsense prevails again in the future articles.....

  • Darshan on April 16, 2009, 21:33 GMT

    or further to that, maybe lets change one day cricket into two innings each of 20 overs!!! A test match as such in one day with twenty20 cricket. Something for every cricket fan :p

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