Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nimbus Retains Indian Cricket Telecast Rights

Read my detailed article on BCCI and Cricket Rights.

Nimbus has retained the Indian cricket telecast rights for the next four years. The current rights were due to expire in March 2010. This is the first time in the last several years where the rights have simply been retained by Nimbus, without going through a bid process. Nimbus had the right of first refusal and exercised it and the board also pegged the price reasonably.

It is also the first time over the several years, where the revenue is going down. The original deal for the last four years was $612 million. This was brought down to $549 million because of (a) Government ruling that ODIs to be shared with Doordarshan (b) Radio rights to be given to All India Radio (c) England tour cut short because of Mumbai terrorist attack.

Now, the fee is further revised down, and on current exchange rate comes to only $431 million. The reason suggested is the upcoming World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and its impact on the number of Test and ODIs India will play at home.

However, there is another important reason. It is that, the value of the ODIs have gone down tremondously. The TRP ratings have fallen. The advertisement revenue has fallen. This is the effect of T20 on cricket telecast and rights fee.

The biggest fall out will be for countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and England, when ESPN-Star Sports look out to renew their rights.

The cricket righs have reached a plateue - at least for now.

Cricinfo news

DNA report quotes an unnamed BCCI official saying that web streaming rights for Indian cricket can fetch up to $100 million. The BCCI official is foolish. This is simply not possible. The IPL web rights holder simply vanished, after promising millions of dollars. These numbers are unsustainable.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IIT eligibility

[Update: Minister Kapil Sibal says this whole thing was misquoted or wrongly reported.]

All newspapers are reporting Kapil Sibal as stating that students should get at least 80% marks in class XII exams in addition to qualifying and getting a high enough rank in JEE. Apparently, the current eligibility is 60% in class XII.

The 60% rule itself is surprising to me. In 1987, when I went to IIT Madras, no such eligibility rule existed. We were expected to pass the class XII exams conducted by an approved board. That was it. The IIT administration asked for my mark sheet to take a cursory look. That was it.

What is the need for introducing this 60% and 80% rule, if the JEE is considered to be a comprehensive test of the fundamentals? (That JEE itself needs massive improvement is another issue.) It is another matter that getting 80% in class XII should not be difficult for any of the top 5000+ rank holders in IIT JEE. But the very demand seems ridiculous.

Sibal has a tough problem in hand, dealing with the educational mess in the country. He should not waste his time on small matters such as this.

Friday, October 16, 2009

M.A in Kalainjar Thought

In a first of its kind move, Madras University has decided to introduce a two-year masters level program called M.A in Kalainjar Thought. For the uninitiated, Kalainjar is the honorific for the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi. The masters program will explore the body of work written by the serving Chief Minister.

As far as I know, there are no such courses run by Madras University for Darwin Thought or Newton Thought. I am not even sure whether Madras University is offering any such program on Gandhian Thought. Or about Thiruvalluvar Thought!

Needless to say, this is the stupidest move I can ever think of. The other two courses, one on Periyar Thought and the other on Anna Thought, are also dodgy courses. A course on Dravidian Movement and its impact on social, political and cultural landscape in Tamil Nadu is a better idea.

News from The Hindu