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Home will grow to be stadium as Star gears up for problem of empty stands in IPL

Star India, IPL media rights, Star sports, Star India CEO Uday Shankar, Indian Premier League, Cricket news, Test cricket, Cricket, Indian Express Star and India CEO Uday Shankar (Source: Prashant Nadkar/File)

Splicing clips of animated followers on the sting of their front room sofa with on-field motion throughout reside telecast might be one in every of IPL’s main improvements as BCCI, like others around the globe, prepares to return to phrases with the eerie silence of empty stands and life publish COVID-19 lockdown.

While the European soccer leagues flirt with the thought of CGI followers and cardboard cut-outs to brighten up video games performed behind closed doorways, Star desires to maintain it actual in case IPL Season 13 takes place later this 12 months.

So, will it imply cameras coming into properties?

Uday Shankar, chairman Star and Disney India, replies with a counter query. “Why will I need camera? Everyone has a phone and camera. I just need to source them. We’ll have to start thinking differently, it’s a creative challenge,” he tells The Indian Express.

IPL rights-holders Star, with an funding of near Rs 30,000 crore in cricket, telecast most of India video games and ICC occasions just like the World Cup. Despite so much using on reside sports activities, Shankar, early within the interplay, offers out the disclaimer that the IPL ought to happen solely when it’s protected.

However, of late, with probabilities of the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia wanting bleak, there’s a buzz within the BCCI about the potential for an autumn IPL.

Shankar has additionally been pondering of this eventuality. He concedes that the “presence of audience at the ground does help to create an atmosphere” however its absence isn’t an enormous concern. He says, “We will figure out ways of creating and enhancing the atmosphere through graphics, audio, sound.”

While these particular results have at all times been a part of IPL, it’s the lacking faces in stadium that has pressured Star to return with an out-of-the-box plan. “Whenever you’re watching a tense moment at home, do you not have a very intense expression on your face? So, all we need to do is capture it. So, you can be at home but you can also be on television,” says Shankar, who says that had this example come up 20 years in the past when there have been no broadband and smartphones, it might be a problem. “Today, it’s happening at a time when we’re ready.”

Working from residence for the final couple of months, Shankar says he has grow to be extra centered. According to him, adaptability is a really undermined high quality and he says historical past has proven him that society is at all times open to attempt new issues. “It is the business and the experts who are more stuck in their ways. I think people are far more open than we give them credit (for),” he says.

Giving the instance of the launch of Star’s streaming platform Hotstar he says, “There were a million people who told me: ‘What are you doing? The experience of live sports on a small mobile phone, this doesn’t work. This tiny three-inch mobile phone, you will never be able to feel it, cricket is played with a small ball.’ I got all kinds of theories. And the rest, as they say, is history. More than 100 million people come to watch one game on Hotstar now.”

Shankar doesn’t see an issue with the participation of international gamers in IPL. “Earlier, they used to come five days in advance; now they will have to come two weeks before the game. They can be quarantine and be more careful.”

ALSO READ | ‘Everyone has a camera phone, I just need to source them … You can be at home and on TV’

Even the England cricket template for a restart, that has fixed exams and isolation for gamers doesn’t appear to be an enormous hurdle for the Star chief. “It will be a challenge and we are required to deal with it for the first time. But it will get easier. Look, on Day 1 of the lockdown, even using sanitiser and mask was a big disruption. I heard so many people say that they were not able to breathe properly, now everybody is wearing masks. We will get used to it.”

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd

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