“And the umpire has gone to the…… Kyunki har ek friend zaroori hota hai…”
No, though it may be that way, I’m not talking about players befriending the umpires. I’m talking about what the Indian viewers watching the SAvAUS series were put through. After a horrible experience of watching India’s tour of South Africa last winter, TEN CRICKET put us through agony yet again.
During the SAvIND, there were excessive, I mean, HOLD YOUR HEADS TOGETHER OFF BEFORE YOUR TEMPER EXPLODES THROUGH YOUR SKULL EXCESSIVE number of advertisements on screen, ruining half the possible pleasures of watching the game. And to make things worse, the money licking channel would snap the video before the cricket could allow it. ( Piece -1, Piece-2, both via cricinfo)
This time, Australia’s tour of South Africa, nothing much different. As it is, the videos were late by 2 minutes, like as if it swam across the Indian ocean to reach out TV sets. Wickets would fall and boundaries were hit and my mobile beeped the news before Ten Cricket carried the visuals of the ball before the one on which the event happened. That was sad at a whole different level. But if I cut all my contacts with the social networking, I might watch the match live.
But then, His Highness Sir Lord Ten Cricket had to bring along his favourite pig along – advertisements. It was like as if Mr Ten Cricket was in constant hurry. Drinking money all the time, wanting to pee, and close the zipper before his weewee could finish the business.
I watched the third sessions on all days, and only once do I remember watching an event being shown all through till the end of the action – Haddin walking till the ropes after being dismissed in the last session of last day of the last test. Ignoring that mistake (right?), Ten Cricket would snap the video RIGHT after the ball hit the bat. The bowler would be running in to bowl the next over by the time the clutches of the blood sucking advertisements would loosen. And only then we would figure out if there was a run, or a wicket or a dot, or a fist fight in the last ball of the previous over.
I was in office when this occurred, but I think it is not hard for me to imagine it, when someone tweeted – “The third umpire goes upstairs, and…. it’s an advertisement break!”
This Mr Ten Cricket can’t wait for a couple of minutes to watch the verdict from the third umpire. Mr Ten Cricket could’ve peed in his pants if he wanted to pee that much. If anyone gets injured, Mr Ten Cricket’s army of advertisements will appear as soon as the physio gets off his seat. You might wonder where the button is, on the physio’s chair? Drinks break would see the ads come before the umpire signals drinks. Mr Ten Cricket signals drinks.
If I see an ad break go for so long, I keep thinking that it is either drinks break or a fall of a wicket (depending on when I see that string of advertisements). And it’s become so frustrating that I can’t remember what advertisements came in. Ok, one I can remember – Irfan Khan in one Vodafone ad. Clearly feeding me more ads when I’m not hungry hasn’t worked in your favour, Mr Ten Cricket (cc: whoever sent him that fodder).
All this for what? Profit? If Ten Cricket’s coverage in the Middle East can save the nuisance, why not in India? How do other channels manage to make enough money from neutral series and stay afloat, with quality? I didn’t find this during the Ashes on Espn-Star Network. A sports coverage which has no time or money to cover the nuances of its art has no business continuing doing so. I will take any other feasible alternative to watch a cropped coverage of the game.
Quoting the basket legend Michael Jordan’s retort to his team owner, during from 1998-99 lock-out period, where the owners locked players out from playing games because they couldn’t make enough money from the NBA season-
“If you can’t make make profit, you should sell the team.”
TEN CRICKAD – The Ad comes in, before Cricket could end.