Thursday, February 01, 2007

let them watch cricket

Trying to break the habit of interfering with private enterprise, the government of India decided that cricket remained one area that it had to step in. Today the information and broadcasting ministry ruled that the private television channels that have bought the exclusive broadcast rights for Indian cricket will have to share their feed with the state-owned broadcaster Doordarshan in exchange for 75% of the ad revenue DD gets from the cricket ad spots.

Though it's good news for the poor who don't have cable, this is bad news for cricket because it devalues the broadcast rights and therefore reduces the amount available to pay players, build infrastructure etc., etc.

What should be done?

There's no need to prevent the poor from watching cricket, but the 75% sharing plan isn't sufficient because it divorces the market-savvy sales teams of the private channels from the product they are selling. Now DD can sell ads and share the money with the rightsholders, but the channel's not great at selling. Instead, if it so desires DD should be allowed to show the entire broadcast--ads and all--from the content owner, and the content owner should pay DD a cut from its ad revenue for the access it's getting to a few hundred million more TV sets.


Anonymous said... maniacs. You blew it up!
I don't really have a solution to let people who cannot afford cable watch cricket, but government invervention is far worse than "I got nothing".

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