The time I decide not to watch an IPL match because I’m not that interested now in Deccan or Rajasthan, I find out that Andre Nel has been in the ITV 4 studio, damn!
But lots of people are tuning in, ITV 4 has a bit of a viewership coup on it’s hands. It is now topping half a million on a Sunday afternoon.
Remind me again – just why is our domestic competition not available even as a highlights package on free to air?
So no football teams then, as was suspected. Modi finally got around to announcing the two new franchises for the IPL. They will be based at The southern city of Kochi and Pune near Mumbai.
Next season onwards the IPL will feature 10 teams – which means a total of 94 games, up from the current 60, in a home-and-away format. There will be no escaping the IPL; it is going to be truly never ending! Let’s hope climate change does not alter India’s monsoon season or it will be all year round soon. But perhaps that is where the USA will come to the fore in Modi’s future cunning plans?
All pre auction hype you would hope. What is a top football club in Modi speak, given that ITV 4 is a top rated TV channel? Lalit was hinting that a top Premier League football club was interested in buying an IPL franchise. Top – in position in the league, top – in finance terms? Mr Modi likes lots of money. From the way he was speaking plenty took it to mean Premiership anyway.
But football clubs don’t buy anything. They may have links with other clubs – I’m told Arsenal has links with Middlesex, but not financial ones. So is this meant to be a British based city franchise? The owners of a certain premiership club may be interested in adding an IPL franchise to their portfolio? Or an investor based franchise? Could it mean Manchester City’s Dubai, or Manchester United’s American owners are interested in a Dubai or US based franchises to cash in on expat interest and advertising marketing possibilities?
None of the above I should imagine. Getting attention is what Modi is excellent at. Even the MCC were in the running for a bit, could not resist the hype, want to be seen as ‘out there’, got a bit of press attention.
We will find out on March the 8th *2010. This will probably be quite dull in comparison to the speculation.
Watching Durham warming up is much more interesting.
*Cricinfo puts it as Sunday
Live cricket coverage is to return to the UK for the first time since 2005. It’s only ITV and it’s only the IPL, but it is a start. English cricket has plenty of potential niche audiences out there and presumably ITV can see a good inroad to the British Asian community with the IPL, while the BBC keeps with the more slender multicultural appeal of such gems as Formula 1 and snooker. It is a shame the Ashes red herring has been allowed to keep cricket off free to air for so long.
This is the month where we expect Modi to be masterfully monopolizing the cricket the media with his IPL missives. He certainly likes the money, glitz n business end of cricket; how to charm, how to smarm and how to rub people up the wrong way.
And whatever you do or don’t think about the IPL, it has many ramifications for English domestic cricket, this year more so than the last. Exactly what those may be, could become clearer as the month progresses. And then again they may not…
It might all be some mad Bollywood illusion after all…