According to the TAM data, the first match played between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore generated a TVR of 7.2, the highest rating across the country. This match was a bigger hit in the six metros alone, reaching a TVR of 8.59, the highest recorded so far.
SET is set to hike adspot rates. NOKIA says that the IPL is paisa vasool and thanks SRK in no small measure.
What has driven this viewership?
Well, the schedule for starters, most matches are in the evening, except on weekends when it is in the late afternoon. Its the vacation season, when people are looking for at home entertainment, being forced to stay indoors due to the heat. (In the malls in Dubai, Summer is the time when footfall is the highest due to the heat outside!!) In India, people seem to curl up in front of the TV, to watch this exciting "feature film" of 3.5 -4 hours.
Quality of Entertainment:
The format heightens the ups and downs and makes for exciting viewing. Just one over and one single person, can change the script, so it is riveting to watch. Wood whacking leather and the resultant high scoring makes for guaranteed excitement. Especially, for those who do not form part of the cognoscenti and don't appreciate the subtleties of the game. No, it does not attract women because cheer leaders in skimpy clothes do not attract hetrosexual women with children. Naturally, the viewership has a strong male bias, which is what the TAM data indicates. The "extra" portions thanks to SET are horrendous to say the least. While the lady with the American capital for a surname is professional and seems sober and knowledgeable, her male counterpart makes the viewer cringe and want to do what Harbhajan did to Sreeshanth! The same goes for the anchors. Compared to what one is used to with ESPN and even NEO, the SET coverage is pathetic to say the least. Even the camera work and editing is substandard. For some strange reason the "Business Heads" in SET seem to be using very little of that part of the anatomy which is referred to in their designation. Given that it is making losses steadily, and delivering duds with monotonous regularity, it probably is only to be expected.
One source of revenue is gate collections and the crowds are being wooed in with the help of cheerleaders . Sponsors get a hefty share of the gate collection though it is small in the overall context.Cheerleaders however have complained that they often end up having to cope with "rowdy" elements and not so refined responses to the bump n grind that they put up.
Incidentally, the RR Patil Govt is being dragged over hot coals on the double standards applied to obscenity in public performances. While bars in Mumbai , which had women dancers who did similar routines with more clothes on, were banned for obscenity and for being anti social, the cheerleaders are being shown on national television, and that too, during prime time. Well that's a controversy that will take its own course with interesting arguments from both sides. The most amusing is that cheerleaders don't take tips from spectators and so families are safe:) and the men don't loose hard earned money for nothing!! But the other side is equally vehement with parents complaining that kids now think its perfectly okay to dance in the living room with pompoms and and in undergarments as the aunties on TV are doing!!! While most item numbers in movies are equally raunchy, parents have an option of ensuring that they are not embarrased in front of their children by some advance gatekeeping as far as TV viewing is concerned.
My verdict: Avoidable, the cheerleaders, we don't seem ready for it as yet. IPL is not certified for adult viewing as of now!!!
Some not so adult behaviour from Bhajji. Sreeshant is juvenile and probably got what he deserved. If his behaviour had been the same on the streets of Cochin he would have got worse. However to do that when teams are shaking hands makes you think that Symmonds and Hayden had a point about our man, Bhaji. As a leader, he is a disaster. He needs to learn a few basics on handling failure. Blaming everyone and saying "I am doing my best" is not enough. Motivating others to give their best is the role of the captain. Our man does not even know that. He is best left to tweak the leather on disintegrating pitches ...Mumbai Indians can do better and thankfully we have Dhoni to lead the national team God Bless Him!!