This year’s edition of the IPL, though, breached my security cover. Armed with the security of a telecast bereft of product pitches towards my face and ears, I had settled in to enjoy the spectacle, but it wasn’t long before I realised that commercial free isn’t really commercial free anymore. The geniuses at the IPL had ensured that the DLF Maximums and Citi Moments of Success that had made their appearance last year were now adhered to with supreme diligence by the commentators. Even the breathless bellowings of Ravi Shastri and the serpentine verbal meanderings of Ramiz Raja were broken up by the mandated chanting of the sponsors’ names repeatedly, and especially during tense moments in the game. The organic raw feed turned out to be processed after all.
Cricket is unlike football, the continuity of which makes sure the live telecast is not intruded on by commercials. Cricket with its inherent rhythm of stops and starts permits the unobtrusive injection of marketing nuggets into the gaps. But the efficacy and feverishness with which these gaps have been filled are akin to the diligence of a concerned denizen furiously plugging holes in a leaking dyke, lest the game seep out.
First, we used to have commercial breaks. Now we have cricket breaks — and even there, the money men are managing to find ways to insert commerce into the action. Sriram Dayanand is unamused.
On an unrelated note, a bit of a medical contretemps involving the wife, so will likely be off blog for much/all of the day. Be well, all.