Campaign India Team
May 11, 2010

Anant's blog: Afghanistan, Chelsea and UK elections

While the ICC World Cup Twenty20 has not been as irritatingly in your face as the IPL, one still cannot avoid it if one consumes even that little bit of media.So, much as I think the game (T20) stinks, I read about it more than I would care for.And I see this bizarre headline, “India not taking Afghanistan for granted”, and I know why I’m so put off by the game/sport/circus.

Anant's blog: Afghanistan, Chelsea and UK elections

While the ICC World Cup Twenty20 has not been as irritatingly in your face as the IPL, one still cannot avoid it if one consumes even that little bit of media.

So, much as I think the game (T20) stinks, I read about it more than I would care for.

And I see this bizarre headline, “India not taking Afghanistan for granted”, and I know why I’m so put off by the game/sport/circus.

Because India should be able to take Afghanistan for granted if skill was a factor.

The fact that India could not, in Dhoni’s opinion and words, points to the unpredictable nature of the sport (T20, not cricket). Further developments post the  Afghanistan game (which we managed to win) just prove the point. Pre-tournament favourites India are on a wing and a prayer and are all but knocked out of the ICC World Cup T20.

As are the broadcasters, ESPN. If India is out, so are the ratings for the rest of the tournament.

That’s terrible for ESPN, terrible for sponsors, terrible for advertisers.

The GECs (not just Hindi GECs) ought to watch the ratings with great care. Next week onwards, the ratings on the GECs compared to the ratings on the ICCWCTT ought to read like the Chelsea-Wigan match on the last day of the premiership, 8-0.

Which is another reason for my  pissed off. Thanks to the ICCWCTT, the last day of the premiership saw only one channel from the ESPN STAR Sports combine being available for the EPL or I might have caught Liverpool foul up once again with a horrible 0-0 result against Hull.

Which I would have skipped anyway, thanks to the UK elections standoff, which, if it were a sport, would read Lib Dems 8, Conservatives+Labour 0. And as anyone football fan will tell you, watching a team score 8 goals in a tournament as difficult as the Premiership would always be fascinating.

So I followed the extended match (full time + extra time + extended extra time which we’re still in) and while the Lib Dems are still at 8, Gordon Brown’s  resignation makes it look like Labour 2, with Conservatives -1.

And the match continues, and the news channels (and news websites) give me blow by blow updates including blogs and live text updates and analysis.

Which resulted in records being smashed, as Chelsea did with their 8-0 and their 103 goals for the season. The day of the results saw the BBC get 11.4 million visitors, 100 million page views, 9 million video plays. Chew on those numbers (I contributed to all of them).

I did, and it was not tough to figure out why. Not a single person, anchor or politician or guest, shouted during a minute of the programming.

Despite the ramifications of an extended standoff (which seemed, at one stage, imminent), the stories were never packaged as doomsday stories.

Most importantly, I cannot remember a dominant anchor after many hours of watching. I remember the key politicians and things they have been saying.

All the decision-makers on all the news channels in India, chew on that.

Which brings me to the end of this post and to an aside. A viral that’s doing the rounds.

It goes like this: If Arnab is put into the same prison cell as Kasab, Kasab would never finish his sentence.

Sorry Arnab, I loved the joke and that’s the way I received it. In truth, you could replace Arnab in the joke with any other anchor on any other English news channel.

Chew on that, too.

Source:
Campaign India

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