Once upon a time, when India was yet to start shining, the evening entertainment was taken care of: watching Maradona or Platini on TV. Then India reached out and a new phenomenon unraveled in India: cricket. From a mere sport, it was becoming a passion, or even a religion as some cricket lovers would say.
Today, with the unfolding of the DLF Indian Premier League, the way cricket is looked at will never be the same again. The World’s best players match their wits, skills and energies and the game’s popularity is all set to reach its crescendo.
The Indian Premier League is a Twenty20 cricket (a short match where only 20 overs are played) competition created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI.) The first season of IPL commenced on a high note, amidst a lot of glitter on April 18, 2008, with some high voltage action.
The DLF Indian Premier league will feature eight teams/franchises and will run for 44 days. During the season, each team will play a home match and a match away from home against every other team. There will be two semi-finals where the top four teams will contest and a final match.
The success of this story is embedded deep inside the concept itself. For the first time, a League of this nature is being tried out. For people who are expecting IPL to be as encompassing as the English Premiership or the NBA may be in for a disappointment. All big leagues have reached their current levels after decades of evolution. IPL may eventually reach there, but the general feeling is that it is going to take time.
It is not all about the numbers at the grounds: the IPLs greater combat will be on the TRP charts. That depends on the number of eyeballs the vanilla teams attract.
The battle will not be just about cricket though. Television channels have braced to fight each other in order to provide footage of the matches as well as other IPL related news. The global broadcasting rights for the Indian premier league were secured by a consortium of India’s very own Sony Entertainment Television network and World Sport Group of Singapore. The deal is for ten years will cost the consortium a total of US$ 1.026 billion; $918 million to the BCCI towards television broadcast right and US$108 million towards tournament promotion. This money will be distributed amount all the concerned parties, with IPL taking 20%, 8% prize money and 72% to the franchises.
IPL has also entered into a contract with Live Current Media of Canada, to run and operate its online portals. The price negotiated is a huge USD 50 million over the next ten years.
IPL has already shown how powerful it is: players have become rich overnight and they are happy; some of the players have even retired to be a part of IPL.
According to rumors, England is also planning a similar league. Sooner or later, every Board will see its potential and try to start one. Experts in the field are sure that one day, Twenty20 leagues will become the most important part of cricket in every country. Test matches and one-dayers may just fizzle out over a period of time.
IPL is a significant step in the revolution that has begun and the evening entertainment will not be the same again. A live twenty20 match provides adrenalin packed entertainment for the whole family.