SBD/Issue 145/Leagues & Governing Bodies

IPL Instituting Mid-Innings Breaks To Generate More Ad Revenue

IPL Commissioner Modi (r) Plans To
Institute Lengthy Time-Outs In Each Inning
Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Modi is "planning to bring in a lengthy time-out -- each lasting seven-and-a-half minutes -- at the halfway stage of each innings," the primary intention of which is to "generate more money from advertising," according to Simon Briggs of the London TELEGRAPH. For broadcasters, the time-outs will be "split into three equal-sized chunks." One will be used to "carry normal adverts, another for an extended two-and-a-half minute message of some kind (Queen Rania of Jordan is understood to have bought several slots for an improving film about the children of South Africa), and the third for miscellaneous shots from the ground: teams massing in huddles, cheerleaders dancing and so on" (London TELEGRAPH, 4/16). CRICINFO's Neil Manthorp reports the IPL is "planning to market the added time as an 'innovation' by calling it a tactical 'time out' but the fact that each innings will now come to a halt for seven-and-a-half minutes after exactly 10 overs makes it neither tactical nor ... practical." A senior production official said, "It is a move that is driven completely and totally by commercial objectives. It is designed purely to make even more money by selling airtime. Nobody could argue that this adds any cricketing value to the tournament or that it can be in the viewers' interest, either in the stadium or watching at home." Manthorp notes production teams have been told that they "need to fit 2000 seconds (around 33 minutes) of advertising into every match, a task described by a different member of the production team as 'virtually impossible'" (CRICINFO.com, 4/16).

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