Mumbai: What could be the emerging sign of Cricket loosing its scene to non-cricketing sporting events, the absence of Captain ViratKohli in upcoming Asia Cup 2018 has irked the broadcaster Star Sports as they have expressed their displeasure to Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
In its email to the organizers ACC, Star Sports had highlighted the fact that dropping a top player just a fortnight before the tourney will create huge impact on its revenues.
Following the dismal performance of team India during the England Tour and Kohli’s absence will surely impact the financial aspect of the coverage, as Star Sports will loose its edge over commanding best advertisement deals from the market.
“In our view, the announcement of the absence of one of world’s best batsmen from the Asia Cup, only 15 days before the commencement of the Asia Cup, is a severe dent to us (event broadcaster) and will severely impact our ability to monetise and generate revenue for the tournament,“stated the email from Star India to ACC Game Development Manager, Thusith Perera.
Star Sports also had asked ACC to get in touch with BCCI quoting MRA (Media Rights Agreement) obligations requiring the organisers to ensure best national teams are playing the Tournament.
This issue in turn created fissure between BCCI and Asian Cricket Council as BCCI, in a tersely worded reply to Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has made it clear that neither them nor broadcasters have any say in national team selection matters reiterating that it’s solely parent body’s prerogative to choose their national team and no outside interference would be allowed.
Popularity and viewership of non-cricketing sporting events among the Indian audience is constantly increasing with the launch of many new gaming leagues based on Kabbadi (PKL), Football (ISL), Hockey (IHL), Badminton (BPL), Futsal etc, Increase of medal tally in Asian Games 2018 and emerging sensations like athlete – Hema Das has created considerable drift in the attention of the audience.
Moreover, the success of Pro Kabbadi has transformed game Kabbadi in to a top drawer and resulted in formation of many regional tournaments such as the on-going Telangana PremierKabaddi League (TPKL) that is being aired every day on TV5 News at 7PM to 9 PM.
Incidentally, Hyderabad-based digital media entertainment firm Silly Monks, which was listed on the National Stock Exchange, has acquired a 51 per cent stake in Chintala Sports Private Limited, the curator of Telangana Premier Kabaddi League (TPKL), which is the regional avatar of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).
The rebuttal of BCCI is surely a disadvantage for Star India and ACC. While Star Sports may have to settle for a lesser ad-pie during its negotiation with the advertisers, ACC and Star India may have to sit across and take stock of the possible impact and subsequent solutions.