IPL COO bats for commentary in regional languagues

Sundar Raman says this will spread cricket’s reach in interiors of India

By IPL Staff
Mumbai 15 March 2013
The Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Premier League, Sundar Raman, has advocated the introduction of television commentary in regional languages to spread the reach of cricket in the interior parts of India.

"To me, we take India as one large mass of audience,” Raman said. “Cricket today is experimenting and there is a big opportunity. If you look at regional channels, they are doing reasonably well. There is no reason why you cannot hear sports commentary in Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil or Marathi. To me, that is another opportunity to expand cricket's fan base," he said.

Besides cricket, Raman also touched on matters concerning other sports in India and said that it is important for them to market themselves well to make an impact on the Indian public.

"Every sport needs to market itself well. We are a one-sport country and that is possibly because 'cricket' has marketed itself well. I was delighted to see the Hockey India League coming on television," he said.

However, the IPL COO advised other sports against fiddling with their formats just to join the advertisement bandwagon. "Cricket is an advertiser-friendly sport,” he explained. “On the other hand, the format of football is such that it does not suit advertisers. My fear is that it should not lead to tinkering of the format, which is not in the interest of the game," Raman said.

With a decade-long experience in advertising and marketing, Raman feels broadcasters should look for different means of revenue generation rather than depending heavily on advertisements.

"As long as one source of revenue is the only source of revenue, you will be playing into the hands of power brokers. That will lead to a downward spiral," he said.

"The amount of money a broadcaster gets for subscription revenue in UK, US or even in South Africa or Australia, when compared to that in India, it is really small. It is pittance," concluded Raman.
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