It is believed that with just over a fortnight left for the 2020 edition of the IPL to commence, the BCCI have still not charted out and finalized in-stadia plans for the competition. Big, innovative things were expected from the board due to the tournament being played behind closed doors.
From cheerleaders to DJs to ‘dugout’ to regional commentary to fan-parks, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has continued to, time and again, reinvent itself and give the best viewing experience to its fans - be it at the stadium or on television. Thus, it was only natural that, ahead of IPL 2020, both fans and stakeholders put their blind trust on the BCCI to deliver fans an otherworldly viewing experience, particularly with television viewership numbers expected to go through the roof. However, with 15 days left for the tournament, BCCI’s silence and lack of clarity on in-stadia plans have left the people who matter concerned.
“There’s no word from the BCCI on what they are doing for the IPL this year, in the absence of fans inside stadia. What kind of technology are they deploying to enhance consumer experience?” a person in the know told TOI.
The BCCI can, of course, take inspiration by just looking around. The NBA has deployed virtual fans at the stadium, the CPL itself has done a good job in being proactive in pumping out music to the TV viewers while the WWE’s ‘Thunderdome’, which has managed to realistically deploy 1000s of virtual fans inside the arena, is considered as a revolutionary idea. However, it is believed that the board are still yet to finalize and approve proposals.
“Proposals have been sent, but everything is pending approval. Has the BCCI even seen things through that lens? They’ve not even sorted the schedule yet,” say those in the know.
However, BCCI’s silence on in-stadia plans is not the only thing that has irked stakeholders. It is believed that several franchisees are unhappy with Star Sports’ latest advertisement for the competition, which does not give equal screen-time to the jerseys of all franchises.
“Why discriminate between franchises? The teams that bring the most ratings from IPL have been sidelined in the video,” TOI quoted two franchises as saying.