Mumbai: The Chief Executive Officer of the cash-rich Indian Premier League Sundar Raman believes that television commentary in regional languages will help the growth of cricket in the country.
"To me, we take India as one large mass of audience. Cricket today is experimenting and there is a big opportunity. If you look at regional channels they are doing reasonably well. There is no reason why you cannot hear sports commentary in Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil or Marathi. To me, that is another opportunity to expand cricket's fan-base," he said.
Raman stressed on the importance of marketing and added, "Every sport needs to market itself well. We are a one-sport country and that is possibly because 'cricket' has marketed itself well.
"I was delighted to see the Hockey India League coming on television," he said.
Raman said that dependence on advertising could lead to tinkering of formats which will impact the sport adversely.
"Cricket is an advertiser-friendly sport. On the other hand the format of football is such that it does not suit advertisers. My fear is that it should not lead to tinkering of the format which is not in the interest of the game," he said.
Having spent over a decade with the advertising and marketing firm WPP group in India, Raman called for better streamlining of revenue in sports broadcasting and said the telecasters should not depend only on advertising.
"As long as one source of revenue is the only source of revenue, you will be playing into the hands of power brokers. That will lead to a downward spiral," he said.
"The amount of money a broadcaster gets for subscription revenue in UK, US or even in South Africa or Australia, when compared to that in India, it is really small. It is pittance," concluded Raman.