Friday, March 19, 2010

My Encounter with IPL

Last week my manager offered to take us to IPL match. Though i am not a vigilant follower of cricket & so far havn't watched a entire IPL match even in TV, i wanted to experience ground atmosphere. Match was scheduled to start at 8 PM and we started 5:45 PM from our office by walk and reached the stadium in 20 minutes to find already key locations in our gallery has been taken.Ground was almost 50% occupied 2 hours before the match started.

IPL clearly is no more a sport event & more of a entertainment melee. Adrenalin rush in the stadium is comparable to new year eve celebrations in Start Hotel or rock band performing in a college cultural festival.There were huge distractions for the players.Item songs were played even in 1 minute time gap for over change. A DJ was hired to cheer the players & crowd and he did his best to disturb everyone.Cheer leaders placed in strategic locations to cheer the already electrified crowd .As far as the match was concerned , tragically it turnout to be a low scoring game. 93 runs was the target set by Rajasthan Royals which was chased by Royal Challengers in 10 overs without any wicket loss.

Few Monetary Facts on IPL

  • High viewership has pushed the TV ad rates to astronomical levels . Set MAX sells 10 secs slot for 8-10 Lakhs[1].Set Max earned 300Cr in IPL1 , 500 Cr in IPL2 & expects 700 Cr in IPL3[2].
  • Ticket prices ranges from Rs250 to Rs11,000 . I heard there were some Rs40,000 tickets for which exclusive access to players area and dinner with them are arranged. Remember India is country where 27% of people live below poverty line of Rs 21.6 per day ie Rs 7900 per year[3].
  • Base Price for new team auction is defined as $ 225 Million ( Rs 1012 Cr ) and expected final price is around $500 Million( Rs 2250 Cr )

What makes Cricket a money minting machine in India ?

Cricket is one of few items( infact very very few) where all Indians share same passion.Cricket is followed by people across all income groups , all ethnic groups , age groups and what not. Hence it makes the idle platform for advertising. Single ad with a cricket model can reach the entire country. No other medium can come closer to reach 1,150,000,000 people (1.15 billion .. yea its Indian population ).

My view

I feel that Cricket is turning out be another impediment to Indian growth along with other Cs - Corruption ,Caste ism & Cinema.

Finance ministry is not a silent spectator .They have introduced clauses in recent budget to levy service tax on these events and on all associated promotions.[4][5].Service tax of 10% is not sufficient on such events.All we can hope is that Govt considers such events as unnecessary luxurious entertainment and tax them heavily on par with Cinema / Alcohol sales.


  1. You should have watched the match between Punjab and Bangalore. That was one of the best matches so far in this IPL.

    Apart from the huge sums that's being paid to foreign players, all else is rotating within India, right? Why is it an impediment to growth? Won't it create more jobs and boost economy instead?

    - Arun.

  2. @Arun:
    What about huge amount of man hours wasted by Indian Public in watching these matches. Wont it drain productivity of the country. 5 years back we had few tournaments & we tracked (watched on TV or in cricinfo in office) it religiously. When IPL was introduced , it was a general perception that public will loose interest when so much sport was played. But it is turning out to be wrong . TRP ratings are still high .Every season is breaking record in terms of collection , be it tickets or ad .Its evident from the fact that Mumbai Indians team was sold out for $ 111 Million ( highest in the first phase of IPL) but tomorrows auction is expected to bring in $ 500 Million. Modi has clarified that one IPL session wont exceed 50 days or so and we have 2 such sessions in a year !!!! Utter waste of time isnt it .

  3. Your perception is true at least in my case. I generally don't watch TV a lot, now IPL makes me sit for at least couple of hours every day. But there are a couple of things.
    1. I think this may not be the case with everyone. People who generally watch other equally useless programmes would switch to watching IPL. This shouldn't hurt.
    2. I'm not sure I'm going to change the world in those couple of hours ;-) I see it as one form of entertainment. Now if entertainment is bad for a country is a much broader discussion. Every country has something like IPL that people religiously follow. :-)

  4. You have said that you dont watch other useless programs and watch this alone .So it leads to conclusion that it adds up to wastage of time and not set off against any other wastage :)

    And think of couple of 100 days ( yes now it seem every season has 94 matches , two seasons per year and each season extends to about 50 days).

    Another new view , Govt is not allowing shops / restaurants to be open after 11 PM , but these matches extend till 12 PM in such lime light.