No more bidding for broadcast rights in Indian cricket
I've written about this far too often. The decision by the Indian government to force owners of broadcast rights into sharing their live feed, sans advertising, with Prasar Bharati, is ridiculous, at a minimum. The extra reach that Doordarshan provides should have been motivation enough for them to bid for the rights. That they haven't won a single time (assuming they've placed bids when the tender process was initiated) indicates that the reach is meaningless when they cannot come up with a competitive bid. The government's decision thus rewards the lethargy of the executives at Prasar Bharati.
I don't think a cricket series is an event of national importance. In fact, I think we over-emphasize sporting achievement
. Hypothetically, a win by an Indian golfer at a golf major (which I'd never watch anyway
) or an Indian chess player at the World Championship or a tennis Grand Slam tournament win by an Indian rate much higher in my list than a one-day series between teams ranked 5 and 6
in a form of the game where realistically speaking, there're only 9 teams ranging from excellent to 'sort of ok'.
If I was one of those who wanted to bid for the TV rights in 2010, when they're up for grabs again and if I was going to be forced into sharing the feed, I wouldn't bother to. If the Indian government was so interested in an altruistic goal of allowing every Indian to see cricket on TV, they wouldn't be talking about a feed sans advertisements and a 75-25 revenue sharing (in favour of the original rights owner, thankfully!). Doordarshan has no
business selling advertising slots during the games and making money.
I hope someone (Nimbus, who've paid USD 612 million for four years of rights
) takes the judicial route and challenges the government's ordinance, and wins. I don't mind not
being able to watch if the government loses. This isn't about watching the series. It is about protesting against ridiculous policies which stifle private enterprise, discourage competition and entrepreneurship. It's about preventing the nationalisation of cricket
, like Nitin writes. It's perhaps also about making money out of what you don't own
, like Harsha Bhogle writes.
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Labels: bcci, government, india, tv rights