Sunday, November 05, 2006

Exclusive

Most sporting events are telecast exclusively on a single channel. The channel pays huge amounts of money to get that right, particularly if the sport is cricket. And they recover their costs through advertisements.

But these days watching cricket on television has become a painful experience. Why? Simply because advertisements, which used to be between overs, have begun to infiltrate the action. Much like the web world, irritating banner ads are being placed at inconvenient locations that grate your senses. Plus, these days, there has been a concerted attempt to gain as much time between overs as possible so as to air more advertisements. What this means that the moment the last ball is bowled, the editors are waiting anxiously to cut the action abruptly to move to the advertisements. They also seem to wait as long as possible and put in as many ads as possible before returning to the live action and in the process, we miss a ball or two. What this has enabled the channels to do is that they are able to fit in two advertisements where just one was possible.

Amazing how the quality of viewing matches has reduced drastically in recent years, isn't it?

I have nothing wrong with companies trying to boost their profits because that is what companies ought to do. But it should not be at the cost of the consumers, should it? Also, I have a problem with this monopolistic nature of sports telecast. I mean, where is the choice to the viewers? Isn't choice and thus, competition the epitome of capitalism? How do you justify this idea of exclusivity? Of course, they make more money for the parties concerned but doesn't the viewer suffer because of all this? Why isn't monopolistic hold over the telecast of a certain sporting event illegal?

Exclusive live telecast survives on the fact that there is a guranteed viewership in spite of all the annoying flash ads. I would watch an important match, though I might get irritated and leave after a while but still in that time frame, my sense have been bombarded with an astonishing amount of ads.

I think somebody should come up with unobtrusive ads like google did (of course, the reason for their success is different) but I think it is highly unlikely if the viewers do not do anything about it. As chetan pointed out in his rail against Airtel, we do accept an astonishing amount of crap and bad customer service.

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