Frustrating as it may be, we will simply have to live with commercials encroaching into cricket telecasts. Series and opponents change but uninterrupted cricket seems as likely as Brett Lee bowling spin. Look no further than the battle for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia.
When Zaheer Khan trapped Michael Clarke leg-before in Bangalore on Day I, viewers were bombarded with advertisements for five to seven minutes. Reason: That was the day's last ball and forget an immediate replay, what viewers got after suffering through commercials was expertspeak from the studio.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), in the recent past, had warned Neo Sports not to interrupt telecast, said former secretary Niranjan Shah on Saturday. Asked about this, Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said: “We are keeping a close watch. We have an agency monitoring the entire telecast ball by ball and looking into such issues. We get several complaints and want to put an end to this right away. The agency give us a report only at the end of the match.”
Abhishek Verma, Head, Marketing & Communications, NEO Sports Broadcast Pvt. Ltd. said: “Like any broadcaster, we make every effort to provide uninterrupted viewing. We also have to realise that this is the first time there has been an unprecedented demand from the advertisers even before the first ball of the series has been bowled. It is also important for the growth of the business to give the advertisers their space. The cost of the game is going so high that you need advertisers. Neo's principle is to give viewers good viewing experience and the advertisers cash in on the viewership. It is a delicate balancing act.”