The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has almost finalized the September 26 to November 8 window for hosting the IPL 2020 edition, preferably in the UAE. However, media reports suggested that the broadcasters weren’t too happy with the board not including the Diwali weekend (Nov 14) in the schedule.
However, BCCI has a valid reason for that and an official explained the reasoning for not including Diwali weekend. The reason being low BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) ratings for those weekends. With response not so productive on those days, even the Indian team has in the last few years been given Diwali breaks to enjoy with their families.
"We can always sit down and discuss the matter with Star India, although we have discussed BARC ratings with them in the past as well since they not only broadcast IPL but also have the rights to broadcast Indian cricket. The Diwali weekend actually sees a dip in BARC ratings and that is why we have seen our national team generally take a break at that point in time,” the official said.
"Not only do the players get a well-deserved break, but also spend quality time with near and dear ones during one of the biggest celebrations in the country. We can always discuss this with the broadcasters again if there is any sort of confusion. This is the sole reason why the IPL isn't extended into the Diwali weekend," the official explained to IANS.
When contacted, a franchise official said that last-minute inventory would have definitely come at a higher rate for Star India if the final weekend clashed with Diwali.
"See, if you are talking from the franchise point of view, there isn't too much of a difference for us because it isn't like we are playing with fans in India and more people would come in and we would generate more revenue from gate money,” the official said.
"But yes, just from the broadcaster's point of view, there could be a case that while 75-80 percent of the inventory has been sold off, there is still that last bit which would obviously be sold at a higher rate if we went into the Diwali weekend," the official told IANS.
Another franchise official pointed out that though they are not affected, Star India might make a few more bucks on Diwali weekend.
"I think the broadcasters could have made some last-minute deals, which would be enhanced due to the Diwali weekend clashing with the IPL playoffs. But for us, it doesn't directly affect us," the official explained.