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The Indian Premier League’s (IPL) governing council may have all but formalised a proposal to change the timings of matches for the forthcoming edition.
However, the proposal to overlap double-headers has resulted in the franchises expressing their apprehension. As a result, the IPL governing council has decided to table the proposal during the pre-auction workshop of all the franchise representatives on Friday.
“The governing council will discuss the proposal in detail with all the franchises on Friday before taking a final call,” an IPL insider revealed on Wednesday.
Conventionally, the IPL governing council meets with all the franchise officials on the eve of a player auction, primarily to discuss the flow of the auction and to clear doubts of the franchises about the auction. However, this time around, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla’s key agenda would be to convince the franchises about overlap of double-headers.
All through the first 10 seasons, the evening IPL games started at 8 p.m., while the early games — whenever scheduled — used to commence at 4 p.m. This time, the IPL governing council, after deliberating the matter for almost two months, virtually zeroed in on scheduling the evening games at 7 p.m. and starting the early game of a double-header at 5.30 p.m.It is understood that the proposal was mooted after consultations with the new broadcaster, who stressed on an overlap to increase prime-time viewership across its television and digital platforms.
If implemented, the franchises fear it could result in loss of revenues and eyeballs for all the teams. “The sponsorship deals for all the logos on our jersey are primarily based on the estimated TV viewership for the whole duration of the match. An overlap would cut into that aspect in a big way, especially since the double-headers are slotted over weekends and public holidays,” said a franchise official.
“I hope the franchises unite on this front on Friday and the BCCI takes our opinion into consideration before it makes up its mind.”
Not just the franchises, but even a section in the BCCI is averse to the idea of overlapping matches, fearing it could lead to reduction in central sponsorship revenue. “The central sponsorship agreements are usually based on calculations revolving an uninterrupted telecast of seven hours over the weekend. However, in the proposed system, the total duration of the broadcast may come down to five hours, which may fetch BCCI lower sums,” said a BCCI official.
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