Staying Live

When the limited-over cricket tournament started for the first time in the 1970s,it was a boon to retired cricketers who moved on to become commentators.

Written by PriyankaPereira | Published: February 23, 2009 3:25:28 am

With the second season of IPL underway,hosting live television in India only gets bigger

When the limited-over cricket tournament started for the first time in the 1970s,it was a boon to retired cricketers who moved on to become commentators. In due course,lay people with immense knowledge of the game joined the bandwagon,making live television a hotspot for aspiring television presenters. The Indian Premier League (IPL) and International Cricket League (ICL) matches have only taken this aspiration further to encourage young talent to exhibit their gift of the gab on and off the field.

What was once considered a profession strictly meant for the ardent followers of the game,IPL and ICL has gone on to prove that live television is also meant for the young and the energetic. “Live TV is definitely here to stay. Earlier there were only a few faces who you could actually relate to with this form of television. But since the leagues started last year,many youngsters have tried their hand at the medium and are also doing a good job,” says commentator Gautam Bhimani,who has been in the profession for nine years. Samir Kochar,who debuted at the IPL last year agrees and says,“Earlier only elections and major ODIs had live telecast. With IPL we have almost 45 days of live coverage.”

With IPL and ICL making big news,television channels too are now resorting to live shows. While Saturday Night Live which is telecast live in the USA is a huge hit with the Indian viewers,Bindaas Live hosted by RJ Malishka on Bindaas TV is India’s answer to the West. “Live shows are the toughest to host but it’s been an experience hosting it. There are no retakes here. So you have to do your homework and have a good presence of mind. If you are going to attempt live television,make sure you are at ease with the idea first,” says Malishka.

Although the medium seems to be growing there are definitely a lot of loopholes.

Bhimani points out that live television is in its nascent stage in India and will have to be looked at as a team effort if it has to reach greater heights. “You may have the world’s best anchor and a seasoned director,but if the sound engineer goofs up then everything could fall out of place.”

It is also a popular belief that most pretty girls and brawny men make it to the live TV circuit. But Kochar feels this medium looks beyond the glamour aspect. “A pretty face may earn you brownie points,but it is your way with words and spontaneity that will help you in the long run.”

Seasoned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle too has a word of advice. “You have to be prepared with well-researched facts.You cannot afford to go wrong with them. Once when I was on air during a match,I got to know of Adam Gilchrist’s retirement. It was only because I knew enough about his career that I could give an entire round-up.”

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