Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Since cricket is of 'national importance'

Now that the euphoria of victory in T-20 World cup has subsided after losing the One day series against Australia, I think this is the time to raise some questions.

If our courts believe that Cricket is such a matter of national importance which made them curb the freedom of private enterprise causing it major losses, then why is cricket allowed to be run like fiefdom?

I am talking about making Neo Sports share their feed with Doordarshan. For those who don't know, honorable Supreme Court had ruled that since Cricket is a matter of national importance, every citizen has a right to watch it. Hence poor Nimbus had to share its feed with DD with a 50% revenue sharing on Doordarshan's advertisements. (So DD gets a cool 50% without doing anything!)

To be honest, I am a supporter of Nimbus. These guys have years of sports coverage and they used to produce some really great programs for DD and other channels. The sudden influx of ads in their recent cricket telecasts seem to be the result of what I said earlier: revenue loss due to feed sharing. (For those who don't know, Nimbus bought 5 year telecast rights from BCCI, of all cricket matches played in India at astronomical prices. And industry watchers have predicted doom of Nimbus since then!)

Now what I wanted to ask is that if Cricket is so important to this country then why is allowed to be managed by non-professionals, called BCCI? What is most shocking is that unlike other sports federations, currently BCCI is not answerable to anyone officially. This is what Times of India reveals about BCCI:

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) -- a private society registered as an association under the Tamil Nadu Society Registration Act, 1860 -- was formed in 1929. It is affiliated to a limited company registered in the British Virgin Islands called the International Cricket Council (ICC). As a private society, the BCCI is not compelled to reveal to the general public its handling of cricket, sponsorship, telecast rights details, income and expenditure statements. The BCCI is accountable only to the Registrar of Companies.

Why is a game of such 'national importance' allowed to run by such a body?

And it is no secret that since BCCI gets fat on telecast rights, the gate money (ticket price you pay when you watch a match in a stadium) doesn't mean much to it and hence India has perhaps worst cricket stadia as compared to other countries. Why are citizen's rights being ignored here?

Media and (publicity hungry) politicians have already sought out ways to gain from our love of Cricket. I just hope judiciary keeps its head in place!

6 comments:

Vaibhav said...

yes probably all the things you mentioned are true. And under such condition India is not playing bad.

Prakash said...

I never knew so much about BCCI working, thnx for adding this to my knowledge pool :), its all politics that plays major role in India which is just governed by corrupt people, be it BCCI president himself.

neha said...

Nice.......but i would support supreme court's decision.....it only thought of the public.....u r right.....they should do something about bcci......but i support their decision of giving the feed to doordarshan....

Abhishek said...

Well Neha, most of the people will take your point of view that court was concerned about people and hence they were right.
But in my opinion, state doesn't have any right to put an individual to ransom and demand his/her property in the name of welfare. This is essentially what Govt. has done. If it was so concerned about people watching cricket, they should have bid higher or atleast compensate Nimbus properly.
Do you know, due to this feed sharing, Nimbus may face closure in a couple of years!!

Ashu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashu said...

SC is right saying cricket is of national interest...
Where will you find the whole nation come to halt to watch a game...keeping nation productivity interest at bay [:O]

I rather follow T20..Its fast, pacy and most importantly short...