March 26, 2009

IS IT THAT IPL ORGANISERS ARE USING ELECTIONS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO RUN AWAY FROM INDIA

AT A TIME WHEN IT IS NOT ABLE TO GUARANTEE RETURNS TO THE OWNERS?

Unlike last year, this year’s IPL is in the news for all together a different set of reasons. Now that it has already been declared (assuming this decision to be the final one, without further change) that this season’s IPL would take place in South Africa, it is time for India to take stock of what she has lost and what not on account of this decision. But before that it is even more pertinent to question why IPL organisers accepted this in the first place? Is it that they are deliberately trying to run away from hosting the event in India, using the general elections as an excuse? And considering the fact that general elections should be given topmost priority, was it so very challenging to postpone the event by some time, and hold it later on in all the states? Why is there so much hurry to force upon a decision, and that too, to host one of the most popular sporting properties of India outside India? Is it that the organisers knew that as a pure business model from the perspective of the investors, the IPL format hasn’t worked in India? And is it also because of the economic slowdown, wherein people in general are reluctant to spend on entertainment, (for example, even good films – but without star cast – are doing miserably at the box office) there are hardly any signs of it becoming a profitable venture even this time around?

For all those who are hypnotised by the glamour quotient of the game – and completely sold out by the idea of IPL – here goes some awakening facts. Last year during the IPL season, barring a few final matches and matches that were held in Kolkata, most of the other stadiums were nearly half-empty. But the TV channels, who were incidentally also investors in the property, astutely kept focusing only on those parts of the stadium which had some crowd. Not that the same would have happened this time too. The fact is that in the last season, none of the teams except for Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals were able to make returns on their investments. To reiterate the fact, I would like to clarify that only Rajasthan Royals made money because of their consistent performance, while Kolkata Knight Riders made it simply on account of brand value, creativity and innovation, viz. merchandise sales and sponsorships.

While Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals netted profits to the tune of Rs 13 crore and Rs six crore respectively, the rest of the teams, namely Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers, Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI incurred losses of Rs 16 crore, Rs 43 crore, Rs 18 crore, Rs 0.2 crore, Rs 6.6 crore and Rs 2.4 crore respectively. Collectively, the losses were to the tune of a jaw dropping Rs 67.2 crore directly, and around Rs 90 crore overall (including indirect investments)!!

Given the precedence and the current economic scenario, it definitely seems that the IPL authorities were actually looking for an exit route. On top of all this, even their last hope of the Santa-Claus list, the investors, has been backing out big time this season. With all doors showing them a ‘no-entry’ signboard, IPL organisers thought that it was wise to use the past season’s hype and make another country pay up to be the host for this season. And as far as the Indian audience is concerned, the organisers would time the matches in such a manner that they don’t lose out on TRPs. In doing so, they have subtly accepted the fact that IPL is going to be more of a TV spectacle than a live stadium spectacle in India! Nevertheless, even if it is in South Africa, the sport scene is quite different there as compared to India. Countries like South africa or UK, unlike India, have a culture of sports ingrained in them. So such competitive sporting tournaments always attract the crowds. But wouldn’t it be funny that people there would be expected to come and cheer for a Kolkata Knight Rider or a Rajasthan Royals (no wonder even the names of the teams will be no less than a tongue twister for them)? It is just like hosting an NBC basketball tournament here and expecting that like the way Americans love it, Indians too would throng to the stadiums!!

The only upside that I see in this entire thing is that after terming India as the world’s Slumdog Millionaire, the West will now cheer for the Indian Premier League. Though the truth is that any day I would have loved to see it happen in India. And I find it quite embarrassing too that it’s not happening in India because India sure hasn’t yet become Pakistan that we couldn’t manage security for some players – so what if the elections were happening simultaneously. It sure doesn’t speak highly of India’s confidence in its own security systems. Or is it, as I said, that IPL organisers are using the elections as an opportunity to run away from India at a time when they are not able to guarantee returns to the owners?


Share/Bookmark

8 comments:

Manu said...

It is an escape route to low audience filling in the stadiums and viewership beacuase one would get money cheering political parties and thier rallies and one would have to shell out money from thier pockets to see thier favourite and not so favourite starts. During a time when one is trying to save money for tomorow and earn a penny more which is a sure bet? The answer is obvious.

Now even if they fail they can now claim we tried something new but did not materialize, what a way to put a brave face huh....

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

I wish profit but may be loss again.

Preet said...

I totally disagree with this blog because as far as crowd is concerned, in India if cricket match is held between a zonal teams then also crowd is there then why not to IPL matches. as far as escape route is concerned its totally fatal. A brand created by india should saty in india but circumstances are not allowing it. elections in india no doubt is big afair and security certainly is problem but at the same time i think weak congress govt is equally responsible.

paul said...

Sir,Its not a good idea to organize IPL in a foreign country. Either we Could have arranged for a tight security or could have postponed IPL to be held after the election. firstly, the world would lose confidence in our security system. If we can't provide security to our own IPL, how can we provide security to common wealth games?. will the world trust us any more?. Secondly,its an insult to our army and our police force too. we are the second largest army in the world (man power). we have CRPF,ARMY,CISF,SSB,BSF(The largest and finest paramilitary force in the world),POLICE FORCE,IB,CBI,RAW,NSG and now NSA... yet we are not confident about our security system. organising IPL in a foreign country for whatsoever reason would result in a negative opinion about India.

G8Tera said...

I think, it is good that IPL has moved out of india because of two reasons:
1) We cannot divert the attention of the people at a time when we have to choose our leaders for the next five years. I hope people will move to their native locations to use their franchise.
2)We cannot expect our security to move here and there to focus on sports when the top priority is ensuring smooth and safe General Elections.

Moreover this is the time when some anti-social elements try to create disruptive environment.

raghuvaraprasad said...

we are neglecting the cricket in between the profit and loose... anyway the game actually matters ten money right...

Technology Journal said...

If no money is being made then the team owners are not doing their jobs properly,

The team should be paid only that amount as can be recovered from the tournament, like priety zinta did with her team sending them to a lower starred hotel if they were losing,

Profits make astute business sense.

kalpana said...

Come what may, the IPL organizers should have sticked to conducting the tournament in India only. I am at loss to understand why we should call it as Indian Premier League now. It should be South Africa premier league. Regarding the profits/loss, it is pure business. Slowly the loss making franchisees will go out and the rates of the star players will balance itself to stabilization quickly unlike the Bollywood stars.

" This blog is managed by The Sunday Indian. We heartily welcome comments on the articles.. However TSI will delete all those comments which are personal in nature and have the usage of unparliamentary language. "