By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) almost finalising the September 26 to November 8 window for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), reports have come in that the host broadcasters aren’t too happy to give the Diwali (November 14) weekend a miss. But BCCI is willing to explain the reason to Star India.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that the concept of Diwali has changed over the last few years and BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) ratings have been not so productive in those weekends and that is exactly why even the Indian team has in the last few years been given Diwali breaks to enjoy with their families.
“We can always sit down and discuss the matter with Star India although we have discussed BARC ratings with them in the past as well since they not only broadcast IPL, but also have the rights to broadcast Indian cricket. The Diwali weekend actually sees a dip in BARC ratings and that is why we have seen our national team generally take a break at that point in time.
“Not only do the players get a well-deserved break, but also spend quality time with near and dear ones during one of the biggest celebrations in the country. We can always discuss this with the broadcasters again if there is any sort of confusion. This is the sole reason why the IPL wasn’t extended into the Diwali weekend,” the official explained.
When contacted, a franchise official said that last-minute inventory would have definitely come at a higher rate for Star India if the final weekend clashed with Diwali. But the dates don’t directly concern the franchises.
“See, if you are talking from the franchise point of view, there isn’t too much of a difference for us because it isn’t like we are playing with fans in India and more people would come in and we would generate more revenue from gate money.
“But yes, just from the broadcaster’s point of view, there could be a case that while 75-80 per cent of the inventory has been sold off, there is still that last bit which would obviously be sold at a higher rate if we went into the Diwali weekend,” the official told IANS.
Another franchise official echoed the sentiments and said while they are not affected, Star India could generate a bit more revenue. “I think the broadcasters could have made some last-minute deals which would be enhanced due to the Diwali weekend clashing with the IPL playoffs. But for us, it doesn’t directly affect us,” the official explained.