Sunday, April 15, 2007

SET Max - The Greediest of 'em all

Cricket’s premier event-World Cup 2007 is being staged in West Indies and this time SET Max has bagged the telecasting rights in India...In a cricket crazy nation like India, anything minutely related to cricket generates tremendous interest. Hence the business of telecasting cricket in India is big, very big!

Now let me get back to SET Max – Since they hold the legal rights to telecast the live cricket, they sure are going to rake in some moolah from advertisers. I read in an article that the ad rates for some India specific matches went up to Rs 6 lakh (Rs 600,000) for 10-second spots!! It’s all fair upto some limit but what really pisses me off is the way the Set MAX programs the advertisements.

Commercial breaks are scheduled to be shown in between overs or other breaks. SET Max, with its unquenchable thirst for money from ads, jumps into advertisements just as the last bowl is bowled.

Now whether the batsman reaches a milestone, a screamer of a catch is taken or the ball crosses the fence for maximum, SET Max doesn’t care about it! It wants to make money!! Imagine a batsman scoring hundred…We normally expect to see the jubilant batsman celebrating in his own way and the spectators giving him a thunderous applause or a standing ovation. But if you are watching cricket on SET Max and the batsman reaches the three figure mark on the last ball, do not expect to see any of these things but advertisments!! Fair dinkum!! Ask anyone who watches cricket on Max.

Their return back to the live cricket is equally worse. On most of the occasions, the bowler’s half way through his run up or sometimes the batsman’s played a shot!!
And yeah, Thanks Set Max for showing the replay of the last ball after returning from the Commercial break!! What’s the use of watching the replay?!! The magic of the moment is lost…What is to be enjoyed live is TO BE enjoyed LIVE!There is no fun in watching a replay as compared to watching it live... But No, Mr Max doesn’t seem to care about the intricacies of the game or those special moments!

One more thing that illustrates the greediness of Max is that when they return back live from a commercial break and if the players are waiting due to some reason like Sidescreen problems or the captain is making field adjustments ,etc, SET Max again returns to the ads!! Now if it's gonna be a big break, it is acceptable... but in such cases, the game resumes in some seconds.

Oh Yes, I forgot to mention SET Max has its own umpire counting (rather wrongly counting) the balls in an over!....Let me explain...on numerous occasions, Max has been guilty of going into the ads after 4th or 5th ball!! and when the directors realise that the 'Over' is actually not over, they come back live! *laughs out of disgustion*

Whichever way you look at it…making money this way is unfair!! There are viewers watching CRICKET, not ads! Really cracks me up, this thing by Set Max.

Set Max alone isn’t to be blamed for this.It’s been happening in India ever since cricket was shown on TV,live. And who is suffering.You and me, who watch cricket at home! Unless there is someone who steps up into this, the cricket viewers in India will continue to suffer.

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