Hi Folks! In a few weeks viewers in India will watch the Cricket World Cup on Sony's four channels; Set Max, Sony, Sab TV and Pix. Terrestrial broadcaster Doordarshan has signed an agreement with Sony to provide all the matches to its platform. But the blatant commercialization of cricket has meant that new and innovative ways to disrupt the viewing experience have been found by creative people without a conscience. You will have the irritating music with a weird cartoon figure, all excited when the batsmen scores a fifty or the team reaches three figures. The screen will suddenly shrink when the bowler is returning to the bowling mark, give way to a toothpaste ad and then come back to its old form, mid way through the bowlers run up. The national anthem, sung by the team and its supporters, which offered such a wonderful spectacle in last year's Soccer World Cup, is too unimportant for Sony's head honchos. They choose to ignore the national anthem segment during their coverage of the 2003 World Cup. The ad-breaks keep on increasing, and we are getting to see lesser and lesser of the actual match.
IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is an innovative way to reach viewers via the Internet. But illegal softwares that broadcast TV channels are doing the rounds. I have used one such software, and I got to watch a Champions Trophy match on an Channel 9, Australia. Edgy display for lack of bandwidth notwithstanding, it was a surreal experience. I did not even notice the ads.
If only greed could be kept at bay!