March 29, 2010

Aggravated by advertising

Watching the IPL is like encountering one of those post-modern narratives that seeks to satirise consumerism
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Tweeting after watching the Indian telecast of the IPL for the first time, cricket's most lovable commentator, David Lloyd, fell foul of Indian fans. He thought it a fantastic tournament, but the coverage "nonsense", "unwatchable", "just ads and daft interviews". Two years ago I would have agreed with Lloyd. By now I've resigned myself to the understanding that there is no separation of the "tournament" and "coverage".

Watching the IPL is like encountering one of those post-modern narratives that seeks to satirise consumerism. Surely, one thinks, this must be a critique of the contemporary world and Lalit Modi not its marketing whiz but its artistic seer.

The player outfits look like a collage of flyers. Excluding the team crest, they wear two logos on the front, two on the "non-leading arm", two on the "leading arm", and a big one at the back. The trousers sport a logo on each leg. The helmets and caps have one at the rear and another on the side. The umpires are similarly draped, though they haven't such a variety.

The beautiful baize of the field is defaced by anywhere between five and eight giant logos, one or two on the straights, and the remaining square. Inside the advertising boundary boards, the boundary triangles carry branding. So do the sightscreens; so do the stumps. The fibreglass of the dugouts is tattooed in logos. There is a blimp in the sky. A giant screen constantly fizzes with advertisements. The banners in the crowd can be sponsored ("Cheer your Citi").

Watching on the telly one sometimes loses a horizontal quarter to ads, sometimes a vertical quarter, sometimes both together. Along the bottom, there are text promos the whole while.

As many viewers have noted with horror, this season features ads between not just overs but between deliveries, cunningly zooming in and out of the giant screen sometimes. Besides, there are two "strategic time-outs". These provide 10 minutes of pure, cricket-free ads. These have been sold to Maxx Mobile: perhaps the first instance, as somebody said, of a sponsored ad-break.

Meanwhile the commentators shout. The shouting is to add excitement, and to build up a necessary momentum for the commercial bombardment. To the existing DLF Maximum and Citi Moment of Success has been added the Karbonn Kamaal Catch. No amount of repetition inures one to this surreal appropriation. At any rate, the Maximum, you sense, has been named with a far-sighted elasticity: it is only a matter of time, sixes flowing like water, that an eight or a 10 is introduced.

The celebrities who watch from the stands have been usually bussed in or have paid heftily to wear the jersey and wave the flag. Some have no interest in cricket. When Jack Nicholson watches the Lakers he does it because he loves basketball. He buys his tickets. And celebrities are present at the IPL after-match parties. Tickets are sold for the parties: they cost more than the match tickets.

A minority will grumble but India can accept the IPL the way it is because it is not a playing society. Its relationship with sport is not of participant but consumer. It holds nothing sacred. The IPL knows that it competes not against sport but general entertainment

The other day I stared at the screen in disbelief on seeing the "meet a cheerleader" promo (an SMS contest, I think: Rs 3 an SMS, as well as a chatline, Rs 10 a call), leaving no doubt as to what the IPL thinks of them. They are not, as in American varsities, a homegrown support and performance troupe whose athletic prowess matches those of the players, but dancing girls who add a bit of titillation and colour (preferably white, as two sacked black cheerleaders found out in season one).

To switch sports while the IPL beams is to find a sanctuary in the middle of a mall. In the Champions League, the footballers move about in logoed but elegant jerseys on a field of unblemished grass, unbranded goalposts and boundaries. Same in the ATP Masters: the tennis players are beholden only to their apparel sponsor, whose branding is subtle, and the court is clean. Neither sport has stooped to restructuring itself to add more commercial breaks. Their commentators are not pushing products; they are empowered to critique.

You think that all of this is important in sport - the idea of an aesthetically pleasing area, of a reliable structure, removing one temporarily from the haggles of the daily world. You think, briefly, that the IPL does not need to go so far down the road that it has. They could just as easily shave off a couple of hundred million dollars from their billion dollars-plus television rights sale, and build in clauses to safeguard the viewing experience. But this is to misunderstand the IPL.

The highest possible figure is important because in India money is exciting and a truth. It is the parameter to judge a profession, a work of art, a life. To be able to say "billion dollars" matters. It empowers and it attracts power. And as symbolism the IPL deals and public auctions are scarcely different from Mayawati's garland of rupees that middle-class Indians find so repulsive.

A minority will grumble but India can accept the IPL the way it is because it is not a playing society. Its relationship with sport is not of participant but consumer. It holds nothing sacred. The IPL knows that it competes not against sport but general entertainment. "Saas-bahu se better hai," [It's better than family-drama soaps] a viewer remarks. And to compete with saas-bahu one must make concessions. Do not give them a moment to linger; cut to Deepika Padukone, a cheerleader's thigh, a 30-second dugout interview.

I appreciate that the IPL did not invent advertising in cricket, merely took a leap further towards the logical end. That we are still not at the end is the truly frightening thought.

Rahul Bhattacharya is the author of the cricket tour book Pundits from Pakistan. He writes a monthly column for Mint Lounge

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vicky4113 on April 1, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    love the article...cricinfo should consider a like/dislike system for all articles like how youtube has recently done..cheers.

  • The_Czar_of_Bizarre on April 1, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    A superb article. I really agree with each and every point. An ad between two deliveries does not make any sense and is highly annoying. Just because businessmen have invested a lot that doesn't mean you should over do the non sense so that they reach break-even in first year itself. Though I love IPL, I totally agree to the writer's views and apprehensions about future. Also the best part is where the writer describes the role of "money" in India in judging profession. Last year i had taken a oath that I will NEVER buy the products that are shown in ads between the balls. Lets control what is in our hands because I am sure these businessmen and Mr. Modi won't understand it.

  • on April 1, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    No one can escape the tyranny of commercials. Even I've encountered instances of some glitzy ads hindering me from reading the cricinfo article. Cricinfinfo should do something like wikipedia. Moreover IPL is budding and they need to neutralize thier hefty expenses.

  • inswing on March 31, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    The ads are not a matter of taste or choice. The are a matter of necessity. The owners have spent otherworldly sums to money for the franchise licenses, and then for buying players and support staff. All this money has to be recuperated somehow. If they don't jam in ads in every nook and cranny, the owners would go under very quickly, because the revenue from ticket sales is a very tiny fraction of the cost. The ads are the only reason why they are able to pay the players so much, and pay BCCI so much.

  • on March 31, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    Popular entertainment in India has always been cheap and shallow in quality- movies, tv shows or even News or now IPL....the emphasis is always been to make it shallow unintelligent entertainment to appeal to mass socially uneducated audience.

    Also, while owners of IPL may be filthy rich, large sections of India are still utterly poor, so not many India emphasize on service. Television, like any other mass product in India, is about quantity and not quality.So, no surprise, millions will still watch IPL despite obscene amount of ads

  • on March 31, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    An absolutely superb piece Rahul. Keep it up mate...at least top writing of this kind puts the crap of the IPL into perspective...

  • on March 31, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    I thought slowly the commentators are learning their lesson when I heard our Mr Sunil 'Sunny' Gavaskar telling 'What a magnificent SIX!' in the match between MI and KXIP (Played on 30th March). Good going Sir, and please KEEP IT UP!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on March 30, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    @dhaval1984. Do you really have the right to advise the writers of what they should and shouldn't write about? IPL is a big thing and a revolution in cricket. Cricket is for every1, including the writers and it is their job to write about major cricket events. Despite it being sold as a domestic tourney, there is a massive contribution from international representatives. The IPL is a good thing but there are many flaws and turn-offs which if addressed could make a good thing better! If all the writers said I don't like this about it and so I'm not going to write about it, some flaws may never get ironed out and may even be ignored. Even test cricket which is over 100 yrs old has flaws and is still trying to improve. So in response to your "TO ALL THE BELOVED WRITERS ONLY ONE ADVICE....IF YOU DONT LIKE IPL DONT WRITE ABOUT IT..." well dude if you don't like what they write...DON'T COMMENT!

  • Arvian on March 30, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    I posted the following comment yesterday and it's still not live...think the author doesn't accept the truth.... :) hope it'll be live this time........

    These days if you want to know how successful a program or person is, just look at the amount of criticism the program or person is getting. The more criticism it brings the more popular it is. This is exactly what IPL is going through right now. Now tell me what you think of IPL. If you really want to change things then stop watching IPL. If nobody watches IPL saying too much of advertisements then I am sure there won't be any more time outs. But the point is how many dare to do it? Can at least the people who are shouting dare to do it? I don't think so, because they don't want to stop thinking and writing about IPL. You know the reason behind it….So let's cut the crap and admit it that IPL rocks………..

  • dhaval1984 on March 30, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    @rahul

    Ranji trophy, and all the other domestic tournaments come with very few ads, no logos on cloths on NEO cricket...Go watch it and dont complain...

    It seems to me than every article on Cricinfo has to say something bad abt IPL...Though all writers has atleast written one article on IPL..

    CRICINFO it self is selling itself by writing about IPL to make money..

    TO ALL THE BELOVED WRITERS ONLY ONE ADVICE....IF YOU DONT LIKE IPL DONT WRITE ABOUT IT...

  • vicky4113 on April 1, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    love the article...cricinfo should consider a like/dislike system for all articles like how youtube has recently done..cheers.

  • The_Czar_of_Bizarre on April 1, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    A superb article. I really agree with each and every point. An ad between two deliveries does not make any sense and is highly annoying. Just because businessmen have invested a lot that doesn't mean you should over do the non sense so that they reach break-even in first year itself. Though I love IPL, I totally agree to the writer's views and apprehensions about future. Also the best part is where the writer describes the role of "money" in India in judging profession. Last year i had taken a oath that I will NEVER buy the products that are shown in ads between the balls. Lets control what is in our hands because I am sure these businessmen and Mr. Modi won't understand it.

  • on April 1, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    No one can escape the tyranny of commercials. Even I've encountered instances of some glitzy ads hindering me from reading the cricinfo article. Cricinfinfo should do something like wikipedia. Moreover IPL is budding and they need to neutralize thier hefty expenses.

  • inswing on March 31, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    The ads are not a matter of taste or choice. The are a matter of necessity. The owners have spent otherworldly sums to money for the franchise licenses, and then for buying players and support staff. All this money has to be recuperated somehow. If they don't jam in ads in every nook and cranny, the owners would go under very quickly, because the revenue from ticket sales is a very tiny fraction of the cost. The ads are the only reason why they are able to pay the players so much, and pay BCCI so much.

  • on March 31, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    Popular entertainment in India has always been cheap and shallow in quality- movies, tv shows or even News or now IPL....the emphasis is always been to make it shallow unintelligent entertainment to appeal to mass socially uneducated audience.

    Also, while owners of IPL may be filthy rich, large sections of India are still utterly poor, so not many India emphasize on service. Television, like any other mass product in India, is about quantity and not quality.So, no surprise, millions will still watch IPL despite obscene amount of ads

  • on March 31, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    An absolutely superb piece Rahul. Keep it up mate...at least top writing of this kind puts the crap of the IPL into perspective...

  • on March 31, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    I thought slowly the commentators are learning their lesson when I heard our Mr Sunil 'Sunny' Gavaskar telling 'What a magnificent SIX!' in the match between MI and KXIP (Played on 30th March). Good going Sir, and please KEEP IT UP!

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on March 30, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    @dhaval1984. Do you really have the right to advise the writers of what they should and shouldn't write about? IPL is a big thing and a revolution in cricket. Cricket is for every1, including the writers and it is their job to write about major cricket events. Despite it being sold as a domestic tourney, there is a massive contribution from international representatives. The IPL is a good thing but there are many flaws and turn-offs which if addressed could make a good thing better! If all the writers said I don't like this about it and so I'm not going to write about it, some flaws may never get ironed out and may even be ignored. Even test cricket which is over 100 yrs old has flaws and is still trying to improve. So in response to your "TO ALL THE BELOVED WRITERS ONLY ONE ADVICE....IF YOU DONT LIKE IPL DONT WRITE ABOUT IT..." well dude if you don't like what they write...DON'T COMMENT!

  • Arvian on March 30, 2010, 18:24 GMT

    I posted the following comment yesterday and it's still not live...think the author doesn't accept the truth.... :) hope it'll be live this time........

    These days if you want to know how successful a program or person is, just look at the amount of criticism the program or person is getting. The more criticism it brings the more popular it is. This is exactly what IPL is going through right now. Now tell me what you think of IPL. If you really want to change things then stop watching IPL. If nobody watches IPL saying too much of advertisements then I am sure there won't be any more time outs. But the point is how many dare to do it? Can at least the people who are shouting dare to do it? I don't think so, because they don't want to stop thinking and writing about IPL. You know the reason behind it….So let's cut the crap and admit it that IPL rocks………..

  • dhaval1984 on March 30, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    @rahul

    Ranji trophy, and all the other domestic tournaments come with very few ads, no logos on cloths on NEO cricket...Go watch it and dont complain...

    It seems to me than every article on Cricinfo has to say something bad abt IPL...Though all writers has atleast written one article on IPL..

    CRICINFO it self is selling itself by writing about IPL to make money..

    TO ALL THE BELOVED WRITERS ONLY ONE ADVICE....IF YOU DONT LIKE IPL DONT WRITE ABOUT IT...

  • on March 30, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    I think the author ran out of idea and wrote this column. There are much more topics on IPL to write not on the clothes.IPL is just 3 yrs old. It needs to make money and let it make. I am happy with the strategy break as it gives me the break for some smoke. Its same was what purist (self claimed) said when Kerry Packer launched Day and night cricket as Pajama cricket. Where are they now? I guess everyone will accept as what is happening is good. I guess our Author won't say anything about F1. Have you seen any NBA matches as how many Ads are being pushed. Its 48 minutes match which goes for 3 Hr. Same is NFL. Goes for 3 Hrs. What happens in those Hours. ADVERTISEMENT on TV. Yeah. Agreed from Fashion point of view, the IPL jerseys are little odd with POSTIT everywhere. But, hey who is complaining??

  • ravi.rtr on March 30, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Good article Rahul. as "Ulio" said may Mr Modi read this article and try to maintain what for the IPL started i.e., Cricket and not for %$#%^$ commercials. it is so disturbing to see the event on telly as you are constantly disturbed by the over commercialism. and to add to the woes the telecaster is inefficient to say the least.

  • on March 30, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    If only Lalit Modi had an inkling of what sport means. Nice article but the amount of insight offered is less compared to what we are generally accustomed to reading from Rahul.

  • on March 30, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    Hi Rahul: Your local club cricket league has no advertisements. Why don't you go and watch it. Nobody put a gun to your head to watch the IPL. The fact of the mater is IPL is relevant, whether you like it or not. Somebody has to foot the bill to bring this show to town on "free TV". Why don't you organize a "Pay-Per-View" show of the Ranji Trophy Championship and try to break even.

  • on March 30, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Splendid! Fabulous piece! I have always had trouble articulating my grouse with Indian sport-fans in general and cricket fans in particluar. You have hit the nail on the head. Nothing about a sport is sacred for a consumer.

  • on March 30, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    Leave IPL apart think about F1 Cars for logos on it, now already some logos are creeping in Cricket Bats now ...

  • on March 30, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Talking about the jerseys which have advertising logos on either sleeve, then if not mistaken I've seen similar in the Australian domestic one-day outfits. They don't have so many but atleast a few. But i surely agree on the celebrity topic that they're paid to wear jerseys and wave flags. Only a few are associated with the franchise, rest are just brought and kept. You see them giving Hi-5s and all that but it is clearly noted that it is just for fanfare sake and they do so just because of the camera zooming on them.

  • venkatesh018 on March 30, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    as usual wonderful article, rahul.bang on when u said indians are only consumers of sport,not participants.but i have to agree with most of the people who say that the ipl is atleast better than the saas bahu serials.that is why they watch it despite the atrocious coverage on television. and i am afraid as you said, the coverage will get only worse in the future. then it will be a real test to watch for pure cricket buffs like me.

  • TenRajesh on March 30, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    We can always escape this mindless advertising if we use the remote control effectively. Change channels during ads and mute during idiotic commentaries. IPL will be a hit no matter what.

  • THE_TRUTH_IS_OUT_THERE on March 30, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    Brilliant Comment, Rahul. It captures the true essence of The Gentleman's game becoming nothing but the worst form of entertainment. People comparing cricket with Saas-Bahu serial tells us how low we can fall. And y not, everybody involved right from Modi to cricketers to almost B grade commentators, presenters and all and sundry are earning vulgar sums of money out of it, while the point to ponder is we lost last T-20 world cup very badly, leave alone the ODI World Cup or still to win Test series abroad convincingly or regularly - so much for the PRIDE to play for one's country & in turn we are jealous of teams like Aussies or even South Africa who are winning most the matches they play. With great power comes great responsibility and BCCI has failed massively with the power. They have used it for getting rich and richer and nothing else. I think that we the true lovers of the game should rise and persuade others to stop patronizing the IPL so that it can suffer its natural death

  • Ulio on March 30, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    @nikhildevdesai I hope Mr.M.Modi is reading this piece of article, I am sure he will bring in some hot samosas for some great citi moment of success and kamaal taste. I just think all this is done bit too much. I seriously do not want to see the MRF BLIMP, also the ads between bowls, it is just so annoying I can understand that L.Modi wants to leech every single penny he can from every place but for love of god let us enjoy the game in peace without all those MRF and stuff. He is just overkilling it.

  • nikhildevdesai on March 30, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    @ULIO, first they need to have water and food served better at Ahmedabad, not three stories down a person has to go for food, water, toilet. IPL is selfish just like BCCI, they don't care for the general public. Imagine how much money they would make if they sold Samosa on the stands.

  • CricketAddictJustForFun on March 30, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    Criticism lacks sense of any sort as no other domestic competition in world of cricket boasts of so much talent and youthfull exuberance . This argument is baseless as IPL is a commercial sports tournament but commercialism also means professionalism in the way players prepare for a new season every time , professionalism in the way competition is equal in a balanced way so meets criteria of sporting spirit of cricket on a level playing field. Even League tournaments of Football in europe or even south america work on same concept as enterpenuers 's stories exist who turn fortunes of their teams after same professionalism of players preparation to play the game and even a lot of football big stars are popular on same concept of clubs . The rich clubs basically get best talent or a enterpenuer who assists prepare a average talent in people eyes to reach that next level as this what happens in sport anyways meaning dedication of pratice to improve sporting instincts in real game

  • jamrith on March 30, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Lalitbhai, you are missing obvious opportunities. You can easily squeeze in an ad as the ball is speeding to the boundary ( arre yaar why haven't you monetized 'boundary' ( Vodafoundry?))) and 2/3 ads while 3rd umpire decision reviews are in progress or the batsman is taking guard or pulling his pants or whatever.Many many more opps to squeeze a buck and while you are negotiating the best deal let us see your picture flashing on the screen saying "fantabulous' and "absolutely" and ther two/three other English words you might know. Or, for a change, show the faces of the new owners Subroto Roy and/or the jewellers from Gujarat. See, I have given you so many ideas, how about a contract, i will even throw in my face for free !!

  • on March 30, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    From an advertiser's perspective, what value do they see in this crowded space? I think Indian marketers are still figuring the value proposition with IPL and maturity is still nascent. Hopefully we (the IPL 'consumers') would have to suffer during this initial period before sanity kicks in and the watching the IPL starts resembling the other more mature sporting events cited.

  • dpkhbk on March 30, 2010, 0:34 GMT

    i agree with all of what is said here we indians deserve better starting right here from cricinfo where the ads block the entire view of the page every few seconds

  • VivaVizag on March 30, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    Although I enjoy the cricketing component in IPL, the advertising is "Limitless Looting" as someone pointed elsewhere. There is always a fine line from things being classy to getting raunchy and the advertising in IPL is beyond raunchy. LS shouts the sponsors name for everything on and off the field as if someone is stuffing $10 in his pocket every time he does it. Cricket should not have become hostage to the whims of Modi and his cronies.

  • AjaySridharan on March 29, 2010, 23:51 GMT

    This is the danger that a mediocre idea combined with great execution presents. Can't blame Mr.Modi for it. "Yatha prajaa tathaa raja"! Good article Rahul. I'm reminded of XFL - the rogue league that Vince McMohan once touted to rival the NFL. Fell flat on its face after season 1 - why? because they digressed too far from the "core" of the game that the american people loved. I so dearly expected the Indian public to do the same to IPL...sadly they have let me down. They seem to have lovingly embraced the crassness that IPL is. I'm hoping this will eventually evolve into a much more mature tournament or format...especially when it goes much more international in terms of participation, not just viewership. For sanity's sake let's hope it does. Can't wait to see the day when a Chinese T20 team kicks Mumbai Indians' *ss! One thing's for sure - we middle class Indians are starved of good quality entertainment - a great business opportunity! NBA - hope you are taking notice!

  • Final_Session on March 29, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    @westaustralian, the reason its not possible to have ads inbetween overs in so called developed countries like eng and aus (what a joke!) is the sponsors dont want to spend the bucks because they know that its not going to reach to mass public.... can you , in your wildest dream, imagin that aus public would be able to view every single match that aus plays (no matter where) free to air??... i think not... media in not so developed countries like INDIA (lol... i can only laugh at your ignorance...) absorbs the cost by passing it on to sponsors and give a common man 150+ channeles for the fraction of the price... (and cricket is no exception to that...) and i'd rather happily trade few ads for free cricket any time!!... true IPL is an overkill, but if you dont know how the things work outside your western australian hole, keep your experties to yourself... so, mate, dont make fool of yourself by trying to call Aus a developed (joke again) country compare to INDIA !!!

  • NeonSpaceman on March 29, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    this whole advertising thing makes my skin crawl. yes, i am fully aware that cricket has got sponsors in other forms and that so do all other sports. and yes, i am aware that advertising is all around us. but its always remained off the pitch. in soccer, a goal is a goal, not a "Natwest Saver Account Goal". even in that most capitalist of lands, the USA, pitches and uniforms are untarnished by corporate logos. in films, i am fully aware that product placement occurs all the time, but at least they have the decency to keep it as relatively subtle placement, rather than insisting that Luke Skywalker is carrying "a Pepsi Max Lightsabre". Steve McQueen was trying to jump his bike to freedon not "score a maximum Duracell Freedom Jump". It is one thing to advertise a product, it is another entirely to shove the advertising down ones throat.

    The saddest aspect of all is the commentators who do not even have the decency to sound ashamed when saying "Carbon Copy Catch" or an IVF Maximum. shame

  • UriGagarin on March 29, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Well the whole Ad thing isn't that bad really, its a bit silly repeating the blimp thing (has there never been a unstructured balloon in India before) and the "DLF maximum" stuff (who are DLF ? don't think they ever say).

    On ITV4 though there's an irritating ad they show telling us that every game is shown live in ITV4 ....Um, we know, we're watching it !!!! And its poorly hacked into the match too, so it cuts in between deliveries, and sometimes cuts off before the start or ends just after the shot . Totally useless and ruins what entertainment there is. This series seems to be poorer so far than the last 2 as there have been very few close games.

    It would be nice to have a bit more relaxed commentary, despite it all, whacking 6's and 4's everywhere is as boring as maiden after maiden without some context. Not every 6 is amazing. A lot are heaves, some are streaky , and a few are glorious. Save the superlatives for those last ones. PLEASE.

  • on March 29, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    It's funny that there are so many advertisements, however while watching the past 20 or so matches, i haven't really noticed more than 3 of them except for the obvious DLF, Citi, Maxx Mobile and Karbonn. The advertisers will surely do their research and decide on the benefit to cost in the coming years. The cheerleaders stuff is sick.

  • Tau001 on March 29, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    You described the facts with some accuracy. And I say so what? There's at least something that's self sustaining and paying everybody involved with the game (be it players, administrators, commentators, cleaners etc. etc.) a whole lot of more money than they could ever dream of getting. So I say put the logo on somebody's head if possible until the league stabilizes. Corporations do not mind their logos displayed in obscene manner, why should we?

  • Tau001 on March 29, 2010, 21:53 GMT

    You described the facts with some accuracy. And I say so what? There's at least something that's self sustaining and paying everybody involved with the game (be it players, administrators, commentators, cleaners etc. etc.) a whole lot of more money than they could ever dream of getting. So I say put the logo on somebody's head if possible until the league stabilizes. Corporations do not mind their logos displayed in obscene manner, why should we?

  • manohard on March 29, 2010, 21:19 GMT

    "it is only a matter of time, sixes flowing like water, that an eight or a 10 is introduced." - You are going to regret this but it's going to happen what you did out of agony is gave out an great idea to Mr. Modi...

  • Ozboy on March 29, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    Hitting the nail on the head Rahul. It is depressing to watch the player, commentrators and even umpires having had to say and wear "the ridiculous". But mind you, even on the highly rated Channel 9 in Australia, you see the likes of Slater, Taylor, Healy and even Tony Grieg plugging TV shows and other sponsors - during deliveries being bowled - shamelessly. KFC is one sponsor being promoted as the supporter of cricket. Fired chicken will make your kids fit and maket them wanna play cricket as it is an integeral part of the diet of fit cricketers like Andrew Symonds, Clarke, Hussey and Ponting. Similarly the esteemed Sheffield Shield was ridiculously renamed Pura Cup - after its sponsors - for years. A wrong that has been corrected. My point is - players sell out in order to make a quick buck and IPL has just preyed on it. Blaming IPL is barking up the wrong tree. Having cheerleaders is for the titillation factor - everyone has sold out. Everyone wants thier share of the IPL pie.

  • shirazu on March 29, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    As bad as the IPL is now it is still far more watchable than the NFL or NBA. Those sports have managed to take 2 hour games up to three and a half (NFL) or three hours (NBA) solely due to advertising. The difference is that they are a bit more subtle. "Official's timeout" or "timeout on the floor" is the language for "timeout that exists only for advertising breaks".

    I am still rather surprised at the lack of advertising on the ball.

  • BHARATLIFE on March 29, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    DLF MAXIMUM , CITI MOMENT OF SUCCESS. KARBON KAMAL, They are commercializing cricket... The Author was great... They are wasting no empty space all advertisements.....EVEN BETWEEN BALLS....Quit humorous responses....T20 is a bit of a TAKE A CHANCE game..... and i think the Players are glorfied more than they that they need to and they are really manipulating into our heads....I AM NOT A PUNDIT ,but i feel, THIS IPL is going to bring MORE DISTRACTIONS INTO THE SOCIETY AND I FEEL THERE WILL COME A TIME IN THE FUTURE, WHERE THERE WILL BE YEAR LONG LEAGUES and we will see people will mostly play T20 .......Brace yourself folks i think it is coming....!!!!!

  • ro7477 on March 29, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    welcome to the the 2010's.

  • ro7477 on March 29, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    welcome to the the 2010's.

  • VicMackey on March 29, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    Just watch the cricket Rahul..phaze out the rest !!! then IPL rocks !

  • pratikchak on March 29, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    Watching the IPL sitting in North America.... although paying a hefty sum for pay-per-view, but at least relieved that I dont have to withstand the never ending list of advertisements! Actually do get to see some cricket. Pity what the Indian viewer has to withstand!

  • knowledge_eater on March 29, 2010, 19:42 GMT

    To be honest, I have watched Super bowl (american football), wc soccer, olympics winter & summer, F1 races, tennis, NBA, NHL and many more famous sports, so its nothing new for me. Advertisement has become part of TV watching. It irritates me when good game is on, but sometimes after knowing few hefty pay to team winners and team players, I am not too sure if they are going to complain. I always paid money to play sports, these guys are getting money. Its like you can't clap if you don't have two hands. This IPL, I am not sure that if they are going to make any changes in marketing style commentary, because I think deals are being signed earlier, so if they stop at this point, there will be fine or lawsuit. Look to be honest, everyone is hypocrite when its come to Marketing (e.g. why mentioning Mint Lounge on this page). If few money is going for good cause (donating, employments) i really don't care anymore. Peace

  • santoshyd on March 29, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    Good article. It has been a poor viewing experience this season, and also the quality of commentary (which is filled with ads, brand names, etc.). It is very irritating that the cameras are often focusing on the MRF (aeroplane) or giant screen. For god sake, don't be greedy, show us some more cricket. I hope things will get better.

  • wanderer1 on March 29, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    It's a DLF Maximum over the McDonald's BlueSquare Leg boundary. Would you believe it Harbhajan "the burginator" (now available at Burger King) Singh-Beer has bowled a ripper of a turner from just outside Off-ice depot Stump. Murali's bowling the Doosan plc, once more, and the batsmen hasn't picked it and it's thudded into his Pad-maLakshmi's.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on March 29, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    lol @ Uli's comment. I do like the IPl but the ads are now extremely annoying. I feel as if the commentators have sold out on us the viewers. I honestly thought the excessive ads were only for the 1st week. I would think we all get the message by now. Time to ease up on the ads! I actually stopped watching 1 match live after an ad popped up IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OVER for the umpteenth time. If any1 follows the NZ vs Aus test series, they will realise how fun that commentary team is. The NZ commentary team is informative, good natured and hilarious. It really is no surprise that such a great and accepting commentator like Bumble is fed up.

  • cpcommand on March 29, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    Commercialization of Cricket is inevitable just like any other Sport. I think Rahul might have never seen an NBA or NFL game. If you see these leagues, there are plenty of breaks, there are team timeouts, 2 minute warnings, advertiser timeouts etc. After all the TV network has to get the money from somewhere and advertisers are more than willing to pay. Calling a catch Karbon Kamaal catch might be taking it to a bit extreme, but please treat this as creativity. When we can have VISA half time report why not a DLF maximum. These ads should not block the TV screen, but giving advertisers some exposure is capitalism. We can't eliminate that. Imagine how much Karbon mobile is getting publicity. From an advertiser's point of view IPL is a major success since he is getting the kind of publicity he never dreamt of. Now citi, DLF, Karbon and maxx mobile have become household names all over. Please note that we are watching these games because of these Sponsors. So don't grudge the sponsors

  • the_silent_observer on March 29, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    @Ulio - great thoughts and I believe that you have got your ideas spot on (a marketing consultant stint with IPL is almost guaranteed !!). There is, however, one problem with using Blackberry logos on the ball - you may have commentators' pearls of wisdom like, "the batsman has crashed the blackberry", "blackberry has gone for a six (in one of those surprising slips, when they do not talk about Maximum)", "blackberry has to be replaced", "it was a slow blackberry that caused the demise of the batsman", "on this ground, the slower the blackberry, the better it is" etc., quite a few of the comments may not do the brand of blackberry any good !!!

    cheers

  • Ashish9 on March 29, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Now just imagine. If cricinfo could slip-in (and get paid for) the DLF maxs, the Citi moments, the maxx mobiles..etc (or their logos) in their live commentaries, I'm sure they'd have little to complain about the nuisance on the television. Well Mr L.M if you are listening here's another revenue stream for you. Not only you'll earn but also manage to keep some mouths shut!

  • Flemy on March 29, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    There are lots of IPL fan who are not bothered about ads even if they are shown between the overs, and i m not surprised by it as we indians never wanted to deserve better and thats the only reason IPL is so successful despite all of its overhype of everything in it.

  • Ulio on March 29, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    If you are reading this Mr.Modi, the Ground at Ahmadabad is almost without any advertisements. It would be great if you could put some more ads on the south end side, last time we stared at that side we saw clean walls, I think they will generate a great revenue. I have also found that the ball is without any ads, which is ridiculous, I think blackberry would be happy to have their logo on it, imagine with all the great citi moments of success.

    I also realized that a lot of batting bats are rather clean, can you please put some banners? Also your camera man never shows your face, we see you like every once and then, but I want to see you almost every 5 minutes in the game, you know that indian audience just loves looking you and your other delegates. Also when the umpire gives a player out with his finger, his finger is totally clean, can you please promote Band-Aid in it? You can zoom the camera it will be a good profit I kid you not. Also when players are having drinks.

  • Ulio on March 29, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Great Article.

    This was Kamaal Article of the week, wishing you a citi moment of success with all those DLF Maximum points that you made. MRF Foundation is proud of you.

  • borninthetimeofSRT on March 29, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Good Call Rahul, but it is too early for making any opinion. The ones who run the game want to make enough money ASAP so that it could become a world league that wants to look like a world league. It cannot look like one unless it has become one. There has been a tremendous change of perception of IPL around the cricketing world since last year. It is no longer called a 'circus' it was once refered to a dozen times last year. Players and followers of the League have started taking IPL seriously. It is an industry making money for the game like no other, with the best in the world shoulder to shoulder, be it players, commentators, umpires, writers. In due course of time, it will enhance its cosmetic value no doubt, but only when it deserves to. We need to acknowledge the achievements of IPL for what it has done in 3 yrs. There's no single definition of how a league should look. We arent Aussies or English, so let it be and let us look different. And arent they liking it as well?

  • on March 29, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    "A minority will grumble but India can accept the IPL the way it is because it is not a playing society". This tells the story where we are heading

  • seminoma on March 29, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    MRF BLIMP

    Gets pretty frustrating seeing that thing in the sky nowadays. It's shown every 4 overs or so and the commentators have nothing new to say at all. We've known about MRF and Dennis Lillee and what they've contributed to Indian cricket long before they put that thing in the sky. If only the commentators could spare us the torture.

  • JimmyDee on March 29, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Commentating the IPL is very much the same quality as actually playing it. Any amateur can do it, it's all pretty much hit and miss, and you will never be recognised, remembered, or indeed acknowledged as a great of the game based solely on T20. Basically if you don't want quality and have a short attention span, then the IPL is perfect for you!!;) ...Must...buy...blackberry...

  • ww113 on March 29, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    Seems they've missed a trick.There's still some advertising space left,between the players' legs.

  • Soulberry on March 29, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Sir, I'm just curious, did you play all your cricket in whites? Every bit of it?

    Thanks.

  • on March 29, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    IPL watching on TV is just a marathon advertisement session in which each ad repeats itself 10 times in 10 seconds (so it seems) with a wee bit of cricket inserted to breled ak monotony..., there was one ad about an energy saving bulb and an executioner in Jail which revealed the adman's troubled state of mind !

  • Allan716 on March 29, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Your point being? Wouldn't you put a logo on your next book cover? Or Logos on every link on this website???

  • UttamGarg on March 29, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    People who write these articles, probably they have never watched NBA or NFL. We should not forget this is television age, so each and every sport or tournament is designedto get more income from television and the only way out is TV Ads and Ground Ads. Cricket is just another mean of entertainment. Those who get entertained by playing they play it and make money, those who get entertained by watching , they pay and get entertained and everything around that just adds more stuff to entertainment. Whether it is commentator or advertisements. So if you do not like it do not watch it (probably create your own ad free league) but stop whining if somebody is able to sell his product better.

  • Karandash on March 29, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    "That we are still not at the end is the truly frightening thought. "

    No Rahul. The truly frightening thought is that you are right; and you are in a minority; and the rest of our vapid country will mindlessly march you over the edge all the while congratulating themselves over their discovery of a vulgar, cretinacious and farcical version of a game that used to be synonymous with languid afternoons.

    Ah well.

  • kquasar on March 29, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    So what, There has to be advertisers to pay the bills ! I guess you are one of those guys who do not every want sports people to be prosperous !

  • Regularjoe on March 29, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Excellent Article! While it is to be expected to see a certain degree of commercialism in ventures like IPL, I think the management has gone too far. Now how far is too far? Anything that interrupts the game itself is plainly unacceptable. Advertisements, while the over is still in progress was unheard of before this edition and the time outs are a joke. Everything Modi does, he compares it with the American Leagues, the NBA, NFL. As some one who's lived in the States, they certainly seem to have influenced him. Even though these leagues are heavily commercialized the NBA or the NFL players don't play wearing jerseys full of Logo's and the time outs they have are not to accommodate advertisements but a part of the game. There will be a day when viewers will absolutely detest this and demand some sanity, but will the bosses listen? In India is consumer really King? I'm not very sure. In my opinion, IPL is a big overdose of Everything! and we all know what overdoses do. They Kill.

  • balaji.dhumal on March 29, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    I am bigges fan of cricket (format doesnt matter to me) but I somehow have feeling Cricinfo is biggest crictics of IPL. I never read anything written good about IPL on this site ever. Are you guys jelous of IPL for no reason. I dont see any difference in Mr Modi and Mr Bill Gates, both copied base model and commercialised it in best possible way. I never heard Bill Gates ever get criticised so much in our IT world. You keep on writing these articles along with other fellow commentrators and reportrs who works for you. IPL will progress and progress big time. If you love cricket just watch bat and ball..why do you concentrate on reading banners and boards..

  • cricster67 on March 29, 2010, 13:37 GMT

    This article will be loved by the IPL haters all over the world as it is as clueless and contrived as their positions. I hardly saw any ads. If you compare this to NFL, the ads there are much more pervasive and still, football is the most popular sport in US. Besides, I would much rather have cricket supported with advertisements than filled with consistent begs of the government for support. If NFL is any indication, ads have just started to appear. People who cannot stand even the modicum of ads currently shown - switch your loyalties and watch hockey and other non-popular sports.

  • on March 29, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    IPL is commercialization of cricket!!!! The IPL is primarily an Indian tournament and caters to the Indian masses. David Lloyd must be flabbergasted at the loudness and the brash advertising that IPL does but Hey whom doesn't India surprise.. Our culture is going international.. Anyways Capitalism was invented by those guys so they of all the people shouldn't complain.. Sure Jack Nicholson does watch basketball so do a lot of our celebrities.. and come on America is no comparison.. they are the biggest suckers for anything that smells green!!! I do agree it can be a little more tasteful a little more softer on the senses.. But hey who cares.. India is entertained..

  • Kunvis123 on March 29, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Well I think this year is a lot better in terms of coverage or I think maybe now i am used to it

  • anurag23bhide on March 29, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    Dear Mr. Bhattacharya, I suggest you have a look at the IPL tournament page on Cricinfo. Unsightly advertisements "adorn" on both sides that make me want to puke in disgust. While I am no fan of the IPL's odious display of brands and cash, please why has Cricinfo stooped to that level?

  • on March 29, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    Super article Rahul. IPL is MASALA CRICKET. It has a heady combination of glamour, rich businessmen, lots of ads and... cricket too. They are definitely competing against the soaps. How else do u get the typical soap-watching women to watch IPL ? As regards logos, well, if F-1 drivers can wear so many logos, why not our cricketers ? If u want to see IPL with minimum ads, then come to Dubai and see it on CricOne (the Gulf's new cricket channel which beams in all Gulf countries). Saw it once, heck, its so boring... anyday i prefer to see on apna SetMax (its no secret we get the signals of Dish TV/SunDirect..etc in Dubai). Its so much more exciting on Max, the way they show it. LET'S ENJOY !!!

  • on March 29, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    Nice Article - love the Mayawati comparison.

  • on March 29, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Great article...shame though that it comes with a banner right next to it saying 'in association with mint lounge' on cricinfo!!

  • on March 29, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    @Vish Lets say you have a google a/c or a yahoo a/c and you check ur personal mails for FREE. Tomorrow they come up with a way that you are forced to click on an ad...even though it will disappear off the screen in 10-20 sec..say you open these ads everytime you click on an individual mail.reply to the mail,fwd the mail to somebody...will you stand up and complain and compare with other networks who do not do this or would you be happy or live with it cuz ur not paying anything..the beauty of business and advertising lies in the fact that the consumer should not feel he is being robbed of sold of at the cost of buying the product..We alll know we are paying only 100 rupees for a movie ticket cuz we are part of some 1500 ppl watching it at the same time..this is similar..you don't always pay individually..not all are Oprah Winfreys and Vijay Mallyas..business does not work that way...yet you can not afford to take the cutsomer for granted.

  • AMD. on March 29, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    A smart article.. Totally agree with it..It is sad for me when a commentator says "DLF Maximum" for a Sixer..ICC should ban these types of gimmicks

  • DipInfinitus on March 29, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Golden egg laying goose shoudnt be killed. Dont oversqueeze a lemon. Dont cut off the branch of tree on which you are sitting. Heard all these from childhood, not sure if they are true. Will have to wait for sometime to see what this 'ad atyachar' does to IPL. Now, for purists (I am a stern folower of test cricket), the IPL hasnt just been slam bang this year. The Tendulkars, Kallis, Muralis, Warnes, Haydens, Gillys, Vass, have given glimpses of royal class, albeit not uniformly, which seriously challenges the concept of T20 being a young man's game. Class is what finally matters. So should be the telecasts. ESPN Star Sports and Channel nine are what they are because of class. This Max and advertising Tamasha will be finally repulsed I believe.

  • Flemy on March 29, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    I have no problem in paying if i ll get a decent coverage of sports(infact i m paying for DTH, i ll not name it or it ll be an advertisment too)but still i m getting this crap production of IPL.

    and for those who are asking answer about not to watch IPL if u dont want, i love cricket(although IPL is more ads than cricket) and i ll always watch cricket wether its between ZIM and WI or some county cricket but i dont want to see more ads than cricket so please stop this nonsense commenting and realise what u are served on the name of cricket .

  • on March 29, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    IPL is also available adfree that too in High definition. Pay for the HD service ( Sun Direct ) and enjoy ad-free cricket.

  • mcgillianaire on March 29, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    Rahul has hit the nail on the head. An articulate and succient argument, one with which I agree on all but one point. Where the author is afraid of how much worse the tamasha will get, I am indifferent. I am not a personal fan of the commercialism but let the masses rule, even if it's led by a handful of mobsters.

  • bonaku on March 29, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    It is like... if u dont like to see.. close ur eyes... remember the famous three monkeys... (gandhiji's says.)

  • dedel on March 29, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    "A minority will grumble but India can accept the IPL the way it is because it is not a playing society" This line alone explains the problem. Few in India understand sport to be able to appreciate it. Beautiful Article

  • dedel on March 29, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    "A minority will grumble but India can accept the IPL the way it is because it is not a playing society" This sentence alone explains the problem. Few people understand sport to appreciate it. Beautiful Article

  • gsurath on March 29, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    Anything that allows me to watch IPL for free is welcome as long as it does not take away from the game. All I want to see is the battle between bat and ball. I would love the "aesthetically pleasing area" but am ok to live with it as long as I don't pay for it:-). Cricket is business and making profits comes before everything else.

  • RajeswaranV on March 29, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    Imagine you are a Test match commentator and you are asked to comment about a 1 day game - Would you decline? Same way if you are a professional commentator and you are asked by your employer to comment in IPL (the commentators are all employed by TV channels) and then given specific instructions and judged by how well they do follow instructions. Its a job and there are many willing to take it. How many of you will like it if your "sub-ordinate" does not follow instructions? The commentators don't care about long term impact etc. when they can make some money now. Sad maybe. But reality never-the-less. I know what I would do - follow instructions. If I don't then I can't get a job for other Test or 1-day or anything. Reality.

  • DRNANDAN on March 29, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    WHY ALL THIS FUZZ ABOUT ADVERTISING...THAT IS PART OF LIFE NOW A DAYS TELL ME ONE PROGRAMME OR ONE PART OF LIFE WHERE THERE IS NO ADVERTISEMENT..EVEN IN DAY TO DAY LIFE WE R ADVERTISING IF U WATCH MOVIE AND TELL FREIND THAT IT IS A GOOD MOVIE IT IS ALSO AN ADVERTISEMENT IF U EAT LUNC AND LIKE THE RESTAURANT AND REFER UR FREIND IT IS AGAIN ANAD SO NOTHING COMES FREE OF ADS SO IS CRICKET THAT TOO IPL WHERE SO MUCH MONE IS INVOLVED THANKS

  • Pramod75 on March 29, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    I am sure Modi and his team know "The law of diminishing returns". In 2-3 years time, returns from IPL advertising will come down and IPL Management will start discussing reforming the sport to get more ad revenues. At some stage, debate on status and protection of one day internationals and tests today is also about revenue.

  • Voice.O.Reason on March 29, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    That's funny; I hardly see any ads at all. In fact just 3 ads - one featuring the fatuous giggle of Akshay Kumar which seems to have been hurriedly yanked after even the commentators started making fun of it, the other mobile phone ad feeaturing Sehwag and Gambhir, and a tedious Western Union ad. That's it. Most over breaks I see just the field and hear the somewhat muted down crowd noise. And I didn't pay much for watching the matches, so I feel all right. Oh, wait a minute, this brouhaha is all about the "terrible" experience of watching it free! Forgive me if I don't feel all teary eyed about your predicament. If you want it just the way you like it, then pay for it. Otherwise switch to some other free to air TV show.

  • maza.india on March 29, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    just waiting to see a Rupa Inner Secret of the Day or Moods Protection Helmet for the batsmen..

  • rsprvn on March 29, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Rahul, Please see the front page of Cricinfo. Its very tough to clic on a article without clicking on an ad on the left, right, above, below, and right in the middle.

  • Abhi2010 on March 29, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    VipulPatki...I agree with you....Sivarama Krishnan is the the worst commentator ever to get on the microphone. A laughable wannabe.

    As much as we want to critique the IPL, we do not realise that IPL exists because of our fanaticism. Lalit Modi did not get up from bed one fine day and 'DIRECT THIS IPL MOVIE'. We might choose to boycott citibank, hero honda, maxx mobile, slash up mrf tyres, kingfisher beer, royal challenge spirit....BUT the easiest way out is ....DONT WATCH IPL!!! All the folks who critiqued IPL in response to the article by Rahul Bhattacharya, are NOT BEING FORCED TO WATCH IPL. IF the realisation has set in that IPL is LIVE SOAP and less cricket, then why do we all watch it? If we can ANSWER that, then we know WHY IPL exists.How come we dont harp about the silly mind numbing soaps on the TV channels, but chose to raise a hue and cry about IPL?

  • Bytheway on March 29, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    This is life, This is prime time, Welcome to the IPL.

  • rappedonthepads on March 29, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Finally an article that's not thrown to the lions by the readers. Guess most of us are in consensus on this one.

    Mr. Modi- Please please don't take us fans for granted. There's a limit to which commercialisation can interrupt cricket and hear us when we say we're well over it.

    To all the Marketing geniuses- Is this the kind of foundation that you want to build your brand on. In the age of social media, listen to customer speak. LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN to US

  • on March 29, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    I think I have become immune to the ads and just accept the fact that a catch is a Caborn catch, a good piece of cricket is a City moment of success, all 6's belong to DLF and the blimp is a brand new invention in India. It appears to me that ignorance is bliss ;-)

    (Of course I do know now what those things actually are, they're just not well known in the UK so am not as bombarded by the 'brand'!)

  • knowme on March 29, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    I wish the IPL officials catch the Apollo Munich pulse of the cricket fans and realize what a Zandu Balm moment of headache the sponsors are causing.

  • on March 29, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    Come to think of it, we should all be disgusted about this commercialization only if we seriously think that IPL T20 is a sporting competition. It's not a sport, it was created for TV and to make money. T20 cricket is for people who are looking for a quickie (wink wink). We cricket purists should be grateful that such idiocy has not reached the shores of Test cricket. I really don't care what Lalit Modi & Co are doing with this version of a game, as long as they don't directly affect Test cricket. The real cricket fans, I feel, won't be bothered by this because, he won't watch this madness at all.

  • Sitting-on-a-gate on March 29, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    Banner ads, popup ads, sidebar ads - we're not talikng IPL, but Cricinfo...Reading the Cricinfo site is also a bit like viewing the IPL. Just look around this page if you doubt me...

  • D.V.C. on March 29, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    The author makes it sound like Indians are Ferengis! (Yes, that is a Star Trek reference. On a cricket site, yes. But the only appropriate analogies are Science Fiction - the advertising is that mind numbingly over the top.)

  • on March 29, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    There is so much money involved that it has to be absorbed by someone. David Lloyd forgets that he pays 40 quid to view his beloved Sky Sports and assortment of channels, with minimal ads because he as a consumer is absorbing that cost. In India, it would cost me less than 3 pounds.

    As much as I dislike the bombardment of ads on television, I also know this is the only way Sony can recoup an exorbitant price ($1.6 billion over 10 years). Thats the bottom line. If a franchise pays $370 mill then its going to stick as many logos on its players as possible. How else are they to break even?

    Its ugly to watch at times, but as an Indian viewer sometimes its easier to block everything else except the cricket. I think we in India have mastered it.

  • Shikhar_TheGreat on March 29, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    I don't think I can add much more to what others are saying. But I would have had a little lesser problem with these shameless advertisements if their effect didn't show on the one day and test match telecasts in India. To see neo sports going to the extent of whoring out international matches, I have started losing interest in matches taking place on Indian soil. And don't advise me to go to stadiums to watch either, I don't like being treated like a slave.

  • gsurath on March 29, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    I love advertising. It pays for all the cricket I watch. Would I rather pay for watching nice "aesthetically pleasing area"? I think not. In the end its a trade off. I will tolerate a lot of things for the pleasure of free:-)

  • on March 29, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    I respect Modi in the way he changed the game but this years IPL is an absolite nonsense.... this was underlined by the advt in the middle of the over......... its like EPL is having advts for every goalkick............. and DLF sixes and Kaarbonn Catchs are pathetic............ The only positive is that at the end of match they doesnt put advt s on the moment some one scors the winning run or picks up the final wicket...... they shows their victoru celebrations and all......... cricket is complete with all these.... and for SONY Max..... have a look at EPL coverage and pre match sessions.......

  • allblue on March 29, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    Wonderful article and some great comments - it's not often a Cricinfo blog has me laughing out loud! But Rahul you make the point then dismiss it - of course it is all a post-modern satire on vacuous consumerism! It is absurdist theatre spiralling ever inwards to the point of infinite absurdity, an attempt to provide a definitive exposition of nihilism, the snake swallowing its own tail (sponsored by McDonalds). It seems there is only one place left to go - negative advertising. Sony could sponsor dropped catches as Samsung Spills, Citibank likewise with wild swipes as Mastercard Misses! The possibilities are endless, onwards and upwards, or rather downwards… This comment was brought to you by Chandra's Chay stall.

  • on March 29, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    and lets not even get started on commentary..ian bishop and jeremy conney jeff dujon and mike haysman to certain extent seem to be odd men out compared to LS,morrison,shastri,gavaskar.for god's sake gavaskar is so excited saying jaskaran singh would be nervous to bowl to sachin tendulkar..come on get a life dude one is a world's top rungetter and another yet to start his career..give him a break..i know sachin is more than ur son but let others too learn the game before blowing that conch shell of urs..and wat with the MRF blimp?seriously i see it 10 times more than the scorecard..yes the scorecard is shown only once in each innings..did mrf buy out 50% of DLF's stake or something?

  • on March 29, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    I hope Cricinfo could do something about this...seriously IPL seems to be money making and nothing else..you can sell a product but the buyer should feel he is buying and not being sold.IF we look at it now..looks like all this "innovative" advertising has been part of the set up and the players who got hefty pay-checks are mere "cattle to be whipped around"as Andrew Symonds said. This is only the 3rd year and who knows what all is i the store for next year when its 90 games in 60 days..worldcup will become just another ICC event,i guess. I am sure we can contrast this IPL veiwing experience with the forthcoming Caribbean t20 worldcup..the show will be much much saner and professional. With the crawly and creepy advertising watching cricket in india has become a nightmare..IPL is just a bubble waiting to burst..you cant succeed ignore fundamentals and just be hell bent on selling ur product..the world economy has had quite a few lessons and this so called innovation will learn too

  • RajeshSuyambulingam on March 29, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    Nicely written article. IPL is not about cricket but money making for corporate and cricketers are just puppets.Team owners except for india cements(CSK) have contributed nothing for the development of cricket. It is sure to lose hard core cricket fans with its aggresive advertising. We are already seeing half filled stadiums in some of the matches.

  • KrishnaY on March 29, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Killing the goose that lays golden eggs... Ads between overs? thats the last straw for me.

  • unkith on March 29, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    Advertising is an integral part of modern day sport broadcasting. Ineffective, annoying, etc. don't matter because at the end of the day, everyone, from the people who bring the IPL together to the people who watch it, do so, directly or indirectly, to gain something from the experience, be it millions or billions in profits or just enjoying the entertainment after a hard day of work.And they each do what they need to to gain what they need to. So what I think is necessary, is for the IPL to find the thin line between annoyance and acceptance of advertising without losing out on revenue in the process. "Karbonn Kamaal Katches", "DLF Maximums" and "Citi Moment of Success" is fine. Having stickers, logos everywhere so long as the person and their team is discernible from the graphic rhetoric is also fine. But the ads on TV in between deliveries and, to agree with ravikant, that nuclear bomb like MRF blimp is really pushing it. Maybe limit the blimp to the pre match commentary?

  • newsathish on March 29, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Watching this IPL is really becoming a pain in the ass. Its really awful hearing those words 1000 times DLF maximum, citi moment of success, karbonn ..i will stop it here I don't want to repeat them here AGAIN !! And, to hear to those stupid commentators especially Sivaramakrishnan, Arnold, Danny and at times Harsha too. The quality is deteriorating alarmingly in every aspect of the game. Who can hear about that MRF BUM every 10 mins repeating the same again n again, its really annoying for me as well as all of my friends too. I have overcome the ads after every over by watching it on the Direct TV streams on internet but there is no way to avoid ads between the balls, MRF bum ads and to hear to those pathetic commentators. Can anyone suggest if some regulatory measures can be taken against these people to stop this nonsense? Please let me know

  • Saadi69 on March 29, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    I have nothing against the ads, the only thing they do is pump out money so that we can watch the game on telly, but the thing that really turns me down is the commentators. Not only have they become billboard but they fail to provide one of their roles. That beind to criticise things that should not be there. I dont see commentators in an ICC event not saying anything about the strategic time out. This is ruining the event, a number of times I have just got up when the timeout begins and failed to return to watch the rest of the game. These same commentators would go out of there way to mock the ICC had it made it mandatory to have a time out. Whats the difference with the IPL. Thing is they get paid by the IPL and not by the broadcaster. This is just going to be a short term glitz. If the IPL is to stand the test of time then it has to think fast.

  • wisecracker on March 29, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Blimp is not just a baloon but a little more than that. Does not make it any more interesting to watch it though.

  • on March 29, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    C we all are toking and acting like saints,but let me tell dis.This is d way our culture is,luk at our weddings,loud, no importance to actually ceremony but the importance is on extragavanc and show off.Globilization n d subsequent flw of money has gne to our heads,and we want to shw off as mch as possible,Indians are crticized all over d wrld for being shw off,loud and crassy.IPL represents wat we Indians are.So we shud nt fret much abt it.Y Lalit modi shud depart and act on a moral high ground whn d rest of d country is nt.

  • JogeshPanda on March 29, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Good article, the broadcast is pathetic and add to the horror of Mid over Ads, Sehwag n gambhir's double sim or Akshya Kumar's Worst Ad ever. Commentator are awful, we always bash Hindi commentators but these are worst than them. It seems like their primary duties is to Brand's glorification. DLF Maximum, Citi Moment of Success, and worst of it karbon kamaal catch. Danny Morrison and Jeremy Cony is running for oscar of worst ever commentator on planet. In Danny's yelling " Its look like to be a Karbon kamaal Catch but its a DLF Maximum, what a CT Momemnt of Success for Doube Rs, it could have been for Double Ds, but Citi Under 23 success of the touney has done it". And finally the presenter, Only Mandira Bedi can have wit for Sidhuism and these people. For a cricket purist these are repulsive.

  • wisecracker on March 29, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    I think we need some sort of broadcasting standard enforced by an external party to stop this nonsense. I know, intervention is not good, and it can be a big detriment like in the case of our scissor happy censor board. But given the fact that this goose is in the hands of Lalit Modi and the ilk, it is toomuch to expect the system to cleanse from within. Considering the person who was in charge of ICL, the idea that BCCI copied and made successful by simply using its clout and pumping in obscene amount of money, we can only wonder about what could have been.

  • ravikant.kisana on March 29, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    I can't imagine how 'citi moments of success' or 'Karbonn kamaal catch' is adding value to the brands. Frankly I would never bank with Citibank or buy a Karbonn mobile, and I am sure thousands of people have been similarly annoyed/disgusted by these brands.

    I wonder who hires their brand managers. And don't even get me started on the blimp. It is a damn balloon. Why I have to see a white balloon every 10 mins is beyond me! Will this help MRF sell more tyres? I really doubt it.

  • srijan_sengupta on March 29, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    In an ironic way, it's the ultimate supplier of this money, the cricket fan, who has to face the greatest inconvenience. If we are still playing cricket, if we are still signing the MCC 'spirit of cricket', why can't we enforce some aesthetics for the sake of the fans? instead of having 10 billboards if you have 5, the demand will push the price to double and you'll still make money!! And while this is being done by corporates whose primary objective is to make money, what is even more disgusting is the shouting, undignified commentry, except a Bhogle or a Gavaskar..

  • CricketPissek on March 29, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    agree with everything here. but do non-indians really have a right to complain about an indian domestic competition? i'm not sure. sure, players from all over the world are playing there, but it's not really because they want to learn how to play on turning wickets, is it? the only reason they're there is because of the $$$$. so as much as i hate the advertising forced down our throats, if that's what the indian cricket board wants, then, that's what i have to accept if i choose to watch it! it's not my board, and i don't have a say. if my home country's board decided to follow suit, well, then there will be some noise from my end!

  • AtulC on March 29, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    And now every ten minutes the camera zooms to MRF blimp and the commentators shout in astonishment - "Hey thats is an MRF blimp". How lame it that as if someone have seen a UFO.

  • simplesumo on March 29, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    If you don't like them, don't buy them. They won't return. All the advertisers are putting hard cash on the table because they expect sales. If sales don't happen (and they are rational - a big assumption!), they shouldn't be coming back next edition. You want to watch Tendulkar but don't want the adidas, the videocon, the Next to show? Can you afford him for a private performance? If no, let someone else pay and you suck it up and watch the ads. Not watching IPL is always an option.

  • Ennigmaa on March 29, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    First you guys praise T20. To the extent one of the comments says 'if you dont like IPL watch NZ vs Aus. Of course that's cricket, this is entertainment.

    What do you expect given the tonnes of money that's gone into the tournament?

    Switch off the bloody TV and go out get some fresh air! Take it or leave it guys. If you see the bigger picture so called Capitalism's aim is not to make life better, it is to feed on people's miseries.

    A crude way to put this..u invite home a hooker and complain her makeup is too much?

    Kannan

  • Gupta.Ankur on March 29, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Its really insane of IPL.No matter what the criticisms,Modi will find new ways to increase Ad airing time.

    I agree with the author completely.It looks like we are watching the telecast of Ads and match is an advertisement instead.

    I think in next addition we will see players advertising products on their faces like Chanderpaul did for many years.

  • maverick_ind on March 29, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    inspite of all the good entertainment(cricket), the current downpour of ads is pathetic... ipl please be true to what you are, a cricket tournament, otherwise the fan will loose interest over time... these many ads are not doing any good to the game of cricket... some SENSIBLE decision making people at ipl and set max, PLEASE get the coverage right before you kill the golden egg laying chicken...

  • Knightriders_suck on March 29, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    I am walking with a weapon now. If I ever see a MRF tyre I am going to slash it. If I see a karbonn or Maxx mobile, I will break it. Regarding DLF and Citi, we do not need to do anything to harm them, they do that themselves.

    Seriously sick and tired of ads. Keep it in between overs, I am certain TRP will go up more if they cut down on this numbing commentary. Another reason to see the match in Stadium. (Do not need to see cheerleaders, and no ads) but there is a numbing DJ to endure.

  • VipulPatki on March 29, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    I can't write anything more as many viewers have already posted their thoughts on this subject. I only wish at least all commentators and all IPL officials be sent a link to this page so that they at least one of them sits up and takes notice of readers' anger. Especially L Siva and Russel Arnold who perhaps are the two worst commentators of the lot.

  • Vikram on March 29, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    I am really hooked to the IPL. I am confident that it has a bright future and it will become India's contribution to the world's sporting calendar along with Grand Slam Tennis and the Champions Leagues.

    The unfortunate thing is currently it is not a product of great creativity and that shows the deficiency in India's thought processes - we are eager to copy what others have and put our stamp on it. For example, cheerleaders were used beautifully in the WC in South Africa - they fit the context and looked good doing their bit.

    The IPL just transplanted that idea with at best an occasional Bollywood tune. They did not even try to come up with a slightly different idea of off-field entertainment - using the millions of possibilities that our culture offers. And dont tell me we cant come up with raunchy titillating alternatives that a look a little less out-of-place.

  • M1982 on March 29, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    You missed the Famouse interview with Shikhar Dhavan (mumbai indians) couple of times now. He simply cannot speak sense then why interview him again and again !

    Good article

  • jamrith on March 29, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    @Samir Raiyani, read Rahul's article again , he was talking about cheerleaders at "American varsities" not the NBA... or don't you know the difference buddy ?

  • Woody111 on March 29, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Rather a brave article! Well said; while I personally despise the IPL and 20/20 generally I appreciate the rights of others to view it unassaulted by marketing and promotion over-kill. Why is it that every cheerleader is white anglo anyway?

  • jamrith on March 29, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    Rahul, every one of your comments is bang on, but unfortunately money talks and shouts its way to the top. Just think, when you have about 20 commentators, 75% of them foreigners,you are bound to hear an awful lot of nonsense, let alone be assailed by the ads themselves--- the Karbonn big-screen ad of Sehwag and Gambhir is so ridiculous that one wonders whether it doesn't embarrass these great Indian batsmen, but again it is of-course a question of money. Over the last 2 or 3 days the monstrosity of the MRF blimp is shown verey 5 minutes and we are duly told in excited tones that it is indeed the MRF blimp---wow how nice of the commenatators to assume that the viewers are illierate. And then we had the interview with Subroto Roy of Sahara who gushed about emotion being more important than money and said US$370 million was not really a big sum after all. What phenomenal sums of money are laundered every day !!

  • kompellark on March 29, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    I agree 100% with the article. I was following the test between Australia and New Zealand, as well as IPL. The big difference I saw in commentary was that there was no artificial excitement packed in to the voices, no extravaganza. The commentary in the test was pure class, vs IPL's crass. I wonder how once upon good commentators like Harsha Bhogle, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Sastry have sold themselves, and gone so many notches down. The less spoken about commentators like Morrison, Siva, Mbangwa etc, as I don't want to count them as commentators. Plus, the major irritants in the whole show 1. MRF blimp...why the hell is it shown every alternate over, and why do the commentators talk so much about it, as if it is a painting by DaVinci. 2. Catches which are dollies are also called Karbon Kamaal catches.....gimme a break. If a catch is dropped, it is called a missed or could have been Karbon...... 3. Citi moment of success, Karbon Kamaal Catch and DLF maximum all in a single sentence. God...

  • tinkertinker on March 29, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    The IPL isn't really a sporting competition as much as it is a symbol of India's sway and power in world cricket and a naval gazing indulgence of nationalism from Indian fans.

    It is much like a rapper who wears a million dollars worth of bling when he goes on stage, it's ultra confident and wealthy but at the same time it's garish and lacking substance.

  • amit1807kuwait on March 29, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    3.5 hours of cricket laced with ads. I fail to understand whats wrong with that for a society which gorges itself on cricket and consumerism. The only thing IPL could have done better was to get Indian girls as cheerleaders.

  • sashwin on March 29, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    even the cricketer's urine will be marketed by someone as 'miracle cure for baldness'..

  • sashwin on March 29, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Now we have Mumbai and Pune teams. Next we can have Borivli and Kandivili teams, maybe even Dombivili Demons. Or every street can have an IPL team.

    Lalit Modi must be under tremendous stress, and it will be good for the game if he takes a break from cricket before he has a heart attack.

  • saurabh.somani on March 29, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    As always, a pleasure to read Rahul Bhattacharya.

  • kakhan on March 29, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    You have quite beautifully captured the horrid experience viewers are going through being over bombarded with advertisements...a big irritant is the blimp (copied from the Good Year blimp) with the camera panning onto it every 2nd over and the commentators bragging about the company, pace foundation, its directors, brand ambassadors n so on...each time. The next "innovation" which I think would be implemented from next year would be ads after each delivery...:-(

    Wonder why some group or the government has not objected to the "meet and chat" with the cheerleaders messages, more so when these cheerleaders hardly know anything about cricket leave alone their teams or its players.

  • on March 29, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Oh Spot on Rahul. When AIR went VSNL Chauka- it was jarring enough. But the Commentators going Karbon Kamaal Catch is the PITS. Why do Ads have to broach into the cricket jargon at all? And all the commentators who spew these and other similar phrases need to have their pride re-rated to zero.

  • kakhan on March 29, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    You have quite beautifully captured the horrid experience viewers are going through being over bombarded with advertisements...a big irritant is the blimp (copied from the Good Year blimp) with the camera panning onto it every 2nd over and the commentators bragging about the company, pace foundation, its directors, brand ambassadors n so on...each time. The next "innovation" which I think would be implemented from next year would be ads after each delivery...:-(

    Wonder why some group or the government has not objected to the "meet and chat" with the cheerleaders messages, more so when these cheerleaders hardly know anything about cricket leave alone their teams or its players.

  • South_Indian on March 29, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    Money is important for sustainability of the game, but there must be a limit. In developed countries such as UK and Australia, its just not possible to have ads in the middle of an over or during a player's interview (during match or post-match) except if there is an extended delay due to problem with sight screen or player injuries. But India is just madness, yet Indian fans would disagree as they cant take criticism.

  • on March 29, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Dude, this is nuts. Are you telling me that the NBA cheerleaders are "a homegrown support and performance troupe whose athletic prowess matches those of the players"? Have you seen the Olympics, that home of pure, "homegrown" amateur athleticism? The swimmers wear but two pieces of costumes and they're emblazoned with the sponsors' logos. If you want to watch it, please do so. If not, turn the TV off buddy. Even better, go watch England vs. Bangladesh or New Zealand vs. Australia.

  • Hotshot007 on March 29, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Ads were always part and parcel of the game. . The IPL has just taken that to a whole new level. . Can't be blamed though. . The sole purpose is to entertain, not to have a sporting event in the true sense. So lets just suck it up and enjoy it like Rahul says! :)

  • Ilin on March 29, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    its really really bad.wats this citi moment and karbon kamaal catch and micromax time out.......its bullshit man.sony max is even insert the ads between an over by showing it like on stadium's big screen.im and even maximum public is getting bore from IPL due to these extra very extra ads.ok all is ok to watch but what about watching an over to complete??? they cuts the coverage as soon as batsman hits the last ball of an over.no replay, no umpire's call for over completion...nothing. i think its my biggest misfortune that im watching IPL on this indian network-sony max. afterall we are here to watch good entertaining cricket....not some idiotic advertisements.im having severly sick of IPL now due these ads. Govt. should take some initiatives to stop this intensive promotions of repeated ads esp. in sports. i hope my view will publish as its all truth that people are getting bore of IPL due to these ads."missing channel9 and Espn star coverages."

  • IPLFan on March 29, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    More than three decades ago, we had Prudential World Cup. Football still hasn't sold the title rights for its world cup and it is simply called the FIFA World Cup. Commercialisation of cricket started back then, it didn't start with the IPL. All those who were ok with this all this while and have suddenly woken up to the horrors of commericialisation now are nothing but hypocrites.

  • Mina_Anand on March 29, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    You're dead right. If the IPL can switch fanatical 'saas-bahu' viewers from soaps - (by pulling in the boundary ropes !) then it is indeed frightening, for the likes of us.

    But then, test cricket to me, is more dramatic than any family drama - it's twists and turns will put a soap opera to shame !

    But drama need not be of the frenetic type. You can have long spells of gripping contest - where not one wicket falls, when not a single 'maximum' is hit.

    That's the beauty of test cricket - long may it survive.

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    Great article. I am a traditionalist, but I have actually quite enjoyed the cricket presented by the IPL. It is a short story to Test's novel, but it still has stories within stories. When you get to see Warne vs Tendulkar once more, or some up and coming playing against former greats, or old enemies on the same team this cannot be a bad thing. IPL certainly has its place, and brings something Tests cannot.

    But, I wish there wasn't some much strident shilling, DLF maximums or City moments of success. It cheapens it. And it doesn't portray Indian society in a good way, if that is its purpose. It makes India look like a country full of insecurites, and reminds me of new money millionaires trying to buy class and the respect of old money....and failing.

    The IPL could be something more if Lalit and the like looked beyond profits and decided they wanted to make history, not money. But, I can't see that happening.

    I will still watch though! :-P

  • indianpunter on March 29, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    well said, Rahul! The surfeit of ads ( even intra over), the slurping commentators who fall over each other selling the event and the ridiculous "strategic breaks" (read advertising overkill) are taking IPL to a new low. Thankfully, the cricket that played is top quality ( mostly). Lalit Modi is the quinessential wheeler dealer. The longer he runs the game, the lower, the crass commercialisation.

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Instead of bombarding viewers with ad after ad, IPL should use supply-demand to its advantage. Instead of having infinite ad minutes, they should set a specific ad minutes and let the advitisers bid for those minutes. For example now they're looking to squeeze ad minutes everywhere. Instead they should have specific number of minutes (say 30 minutes per game) and then leave it to the advitisers to bid for that time. That way they can get good quality ads from good advitisers and it won't piss off the public..

  • critic12345 on March 29, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    I have never missed a singe match in 2 IPL season. This season too I have been watching IPL. But this time, it is the most excruciating torturous experience. Especially the commentry. In the first 2 matches it was all about citi moment of success & dlf maximum. Then came Karbonn Kamal catch. Then a mini ad between balls. Then 2 ads between balls. Then the horror of all, commentators talking about a technological innovation of a balloon blimp of one of the advertisers. There was no cricket in that talk. Horrible part, if you notice, they show it and talk about it every 4 overs. Just like that. IPL is taking the fans like me for a ride. They are misusing the passion shown by the fans. I dont mind about the ads in ground or in TV.But the ad endorsement by commentators is a true stab in the heart for cricket. This has to end now ,otherwise IPL will soon see a fans exodus.Sunil,Shastri & Harsha -- R u listening ?

  • amarta on March 29, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    A very very appropriate article Rahul...Kudos to you to bring out the thoughts of many Indians in such a rightful manner...It's a shame the way IPL is being broadcasted in India...iT'S almost as if sport has been sold to commerce...

  • ww113 on March 29, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    All forms of cricket are drowned by a tsunami of ads.Sheer torture.

  • springonion on March 29, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    On the plus side, some of the cricket has been good; yesterday Yusuf Pathan took a Karbon Kamaal catch whilst Hayden was attempting a DLF Maximum. Definitely a Citi Moment of Success.

    Great read, and airing some of the frustrations I'm sure plenty of us feel. On the commentating front, I find Ian Bishop provides some relief from the verbal vomit that is spewed from most of the others.

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    its not so bad for me because i watch ipl on directv/willow.tv in usa. it is a direct feed, and the only ads are those inbetween delivery ones.. i of course mute the spectators.. people like gavaskar and l sivaramakrishnanan have no place in the commentary box

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    couldn't agree more with this article. the problem is that indian audiences have gotten used to seeing ads all the time not just for cricket but in tv shows and pretty much anything on tv. instead of rebelling against it they have chosen to suffer it. i'm just glad i am not in india but in new zealand where we rarely get ad breaks in cricket.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    couldn't agree more with this article. the problem is that indian audiences have gotten used to seeing ads all the time not just for cricket but in tv shows and pretty much anything on tv. instead of rebelling against it they have chosen to suffer it. i'm just glad i am not in india but in new zealand where we rarely get ad breaks in cricket.

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    its not so bad for me because i watch ipl on directv/willow.tv in usa. it is a direct feed, and the only ads are those inbetween delivery ones.. i of course mute the spectators.. people like gavaskar and l sivaramakrishnanan have no place in the commentary box

  • springonion on March 29, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    On the plus side, some of the cricket has been good; yesterday Yusuf Pathan took a Karbon Kamaal catch whilst Hayden was attempting a DLF Maximum. Definitely a Citi Moment of Success.

    Great read, and airing some of the frustrations I'm sure plenty of us feel. On the commentating front, I find Ian Bishop provides some relief from the verbal vomit that is spewed from most of the others.

  • ww113 on March 29, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    All forms of cricket are drowned by a tsunami of ads.Sheer torture.

  • amarta on March 29, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    A very very appropriate article Rahul...Kudos to you to bring out the thoughts of many Indians in such a rightful manner...It's a shame the way IPL is being broadcasted in India...iT'S almost as if sport has been sold to commerce...

  • critic12345 on March 29, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    I have never missed a singe match in 2 IPL season. This season too I have been watching IPL. But this time, it is the most excruciating torturous experience. Especially the commentry. In the first 2 matches it was all about citi moment of success & dlf maximum. Then came Karbonn Kamal catch. Then a mini ad between balls. Then 2 ads between balls. Then the horror of all, commentators talking about a technological innovation of a balloon blimp of one of the advertisers. There was no cricket in that talk. Horrible part, if you notice, they show it and talk about it every 4 overs. Just like that. IPL is taking the fans like me for a ride. They are misusing the passion shown by the fans. I dont mind about the ads in ground or in TV.But the ad endorsement by commentators is a true stab in the heart for cricket. This has to end now ,otherwise IPL will soon see a fans exodus.Sunil,Shastri & Harsha -- R u listening ?

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Instead of bombarding viewers with ad after ad, IPL should use supply-demand to its advantage. Instead of having infinite ad minutes, they should set a specific ad minutes and let the advitisers bid for those minutes. For example now they're looking to squeeze ad minutes everywhere. Instead they should have specific number of minutes (say 30 minutes per game) and then leave it to the advitisers to bid for that time. That way they can get good quality ads from good advitisers and it won't piss off the public..

  • indianpunter on March 29, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    well said, Rahul! The surfeit of ads ( even intra over), the slurping commentators who fall over each other selling the event and the ridiculous "strategic breaks" (read advertising overkill) are taking IPL to a new low. Thankfully, the cricket that played is top quality ( mostly). Lalit Modi is the quinessential wheeler dealer. The longer he runs the game, the lower, the crass commercialisation.

  • on March 29, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    Great article. I am a traditionalist, but I have actually quite enjoyed the cricket presented by the IPL. It is a short story to Test's novel, but it still has stories within stories. When you get to see Warne vs Tendulkar once more, or some up and coming playing against former greats, or old enemies on the same team this cannot be a bad thing. IPL certainly has its place, and brings something Tests cannot.

    But, I wish there wasn't some much strident shilling, DLF maximums or City moments of success. It cheapens it. And it doesn't portray Indian society in a good way, if that is its purpose. It makes India look like a country full of insecurites, and reminds me of new money millionaires trying to buy class and the respect of old money....and failing.

    The IPL could be something more if Lalit and the like looked beyond profits and decided they wanted to make history, not money. But, I can't see that happening.

    I will still watch though! :-P

  • Mina_Anand on March 29, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    You're dead right. If the IPL can switch fanatical 'saas-bahu' viewers from soaps - (by pulling in the boundary ropes !) then it is indeed frightening, for the likes of us.

    But then, test cricket to me, is more dramatic than any family drama - it's twists and turns will put a soap opera to shame !

    But drama need not be of the frenetic type. You can have long spells of gripping contest - where not one wicket falls, when not a single 'maximum' is hit.

    That's the beauty of test cricket - long may it survive.