Time-out dilemma

Board faces tough choice between advertisement revenue and ICC T20 norms

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai/kolkata | Published: June 11, 2013 2:30 am

The working committee of the BCCI on Monday afternoon came up with strong proposal in its drive to clean up,post the IPL spot-fixing allegations. Among the list of proposals announced by BCCI’s acting head Jagmohan Dalmiya was the suggestion to have playing conditions in the IPL follow ICC standards.

IPL,being a domestic tournament held under the aegis of the Indian board,has its own set of rules and regulations. One example is the ‘strategic time-out,’ where a break of two and half minutes is given to each team during the course of the game. According to the proposed changes,these strategic time outs are set to disappear.

Recent investigations by police had indicated that the strategic time-outs were used by bookies to plan out their strategies. It emerged that large sums of money were bet on a particular score being reached in a certain passage of play,the process known as session betting. The time-out breaks were used by bookies and the tainted players to communicate with each other and also to place large quantities of bets. However,if the resolutions are passed,the BCCI could lose millions of dollars in revenue. The strategic breaks provided commercial broadcasts a big window for advertisements.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel told The Indian Express that these changs are merely in the proposal stage and will be discusses further before being passed. “Doing away with the strategic time-outs also has its financial implications (in term of ad revenue). However,this is an ongoing process. We can always include additional measures in our programme. We will discuss all other issues,including strategic time-out in our future meetings,” Patel said. He also said that the board will approach owners and players for suggestions. “We have asked for suggestions from the players,owners and fans. We will discuss the issue during the captains’ meeting and will see their reactions. We will take the best suggestions on board and will work accordingly.”

renewed criticism

In 2010,the IPL introduced strategic time-outs as a seven-and-a-half minute break at the end of the 10th over of an innings. However,after lot of criticism,it was reduced to two breaks of two-and-half minutes each per inning. Set Max,who had brought the rights to telecast the tournament,had agreed to pay more after the strategic time-outs were introduced. Sony Entertainment Television signed a contract with BCCI where they pay 8700 crore rupees (1.6 billion US dollars) for ten years. The IPL franchises recieve 80% of the amount while BCCI pockets the remaining 20%.

Set Max in 2012 had quoted 4.5-5 lakh per ten seconds of ad space during league games and close to 10 lakh for the same time slot during the final. The strategic time-outs give 300 seconds worth of ad-time to the broadcaster.

“Set Max has been promised about the strategic time-out slots and they now pay the BCCI more than what they had paid in 2008 and 2009. If ICC rulings are followed,then both the franchises and BCCI will receive less money. It will be a tough stand to take especially since revenue will be compromised,” a BCCI official said.

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