Fifth edition of the DLF Indian Premier League is well on its way in full force, or so it just seems. High hopes came crashing down after the inauguration ceremony registered a record low TRP of 1.16 against last year’s 3.03, though it featured heavy names such as Katy Perry, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. The cue was well taken by advertising agencies, which has resulted in a decrease of T.V advertisements during this ‘festive season'.
The fact that the Deccan Chargers have failed to register a victory yet is not helping the viewership scenario in Hyderabad. Instead, IPL has now gone from being a reason to just an excuse for people to get together.
Youngsters too seem to be losing interest in the much-hyped IPL format of cricket. Ishan, a sports enthusiast says, “IPL has lost its charm. It’s just a bunch of stars in different colours. I am gaining interest in English football, which is a tremendous league. Let’s just say cricket has been overloaded and force-fed.”
However, Ishan represents just one side of the sob-story. On the other hand, another section of the city seems to be revelling in ‘IPL mania’ --- the various pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Many eating joints and watering holes have come out with different ‘first ball to last ball’ offers, hoping to rope in even non-cricket enthusiasts, rare as they are. Ravi, of Rain - The Super Club, Banjara Hills, says, “We have come out with a unique strategy to get patrons into the mood by using cricketing names in our menus.”
The Bar at Novotel offers a 50 per cent flat discount to customers who have correctly predicted the man of the match. Not that it comes cheap though. Many places such as Ohri’s 1857 feature 70mm screens and various high definition devices for a great experience. Liqour has become the keyword of the season with Country Club in Begumpet and Sixth Element in Panjagutta offering unlimited liqour packages on match-days.
Ashwin, a student and a cricket enthusiast says, “The offers during the IPL season are incredible. I just want to chill with my friends and maybe watch some cricket.”
This also highlights the change in the scenario --- a possible shift of momentum from cricket to other sports. Pepsi India’s new ‘T20 Football’ campaign and ‘Change The Game’ advertisement is a further testimony to that change. Maybe it is just a rough phase for the Indian cricketing industry, but it is undeniable that a Chargers’ win will go a long way in reviving some interest among the city’s enthusiasts.