Posts Tagged ‘IPL’

How The Times of India went after N. Srinivasan

3 June 2013

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ARVIND SWAMINATHAN writes from Madras: Depending on what you expect of your newspaper, either The Times of India played just the right role in the N. Srinivasan matter: proactively taking up an issue that concerns a “nation of a billion-plus”, right up to the very end, even if it did not secure the end it would have liked.

Or, it plainly overdid it, to the exclusion of all else, eventually falling flat on its face.

Over a 13-day period beginning May 22, ToI ran 87 pieces (outside of general BCCI/IPL pieces) with the BCCI president exclusively in focus and almost all of them either demanding, provoking or predicting the end for Srinivasan following his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan‘s arrest in the alleged IPL betting scandal involving Vindoo Dara Singh.

Among these 87 pieces were seven editorials, mini-editorials and opinion pieces, five interviews, and four cartoons.

It even launched a public service advertising campaign (below) midway through the campaign.

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ToI‘s hunt for Srinivasan’s head—which even as of today is far removed from the original IPL spotfixing scam involving S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan—began on May 22, the day it launched its “I Lead India” campaign with the poser: “Do you feel you can be a changemaker?”

But it was only on May 28, the day after Srinivasan told a BCCI meeting in Calcutta that he would not resign following his son-in-law’s arrest for his purported involvement in betting, that the ToI coverage took on a more aggressive, advocacy air—eerily reminiscent of the paper’s Commonwealth Games campaign—urging board members, politicians and other sportspersons to speak up or quit to bring pressure on Srinivasan to do the same.

In making the murky BCCI saga its bread, butter, jam and marmalade day after day for 13 days, The Times of India relegated more important but less reader-friendly stories, like the massacre of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh at the hands of Maoists to the inside pages.

# On May 26, the day after the Chhattisgarh massacre in which 28 people perished, the story was second-lead (as indeed in the Hindustan Times).

# Srinivasan’s fate was the lead ToI story on each of the 13 days; in contrast, the Chhattisgarh ambush found a front-page mention only on four days.

# Altogether, ToI ran 29 stories on Chhattisgarh as opposed to 87 on Srinivasan alone.

# Four times, ToI invoked the name of India Cements, Srinivasan’s company (“India Cements stocks hit 52-week low”, “India Cements brand to take a hit”, “India Cements disowns Meiyappan”, “India Cements underperform peers”) to drive home its point on Srinivasan.

# On May 29, ToI rounded up 30 talking heads seeking Srinivasan’s ouster.

The role of Times Now in drumming up the anti-Srinivasan mood is outside of this quantitative analysis, but with Srinivasan only “stepping aside” for a month at the end of all the sound and fury signifying nothing, the newsworthiness of the Times campaign is open to question.

Below are the Times of India‘s 87 headlines, graphics straplines, intros, editorials, mini-editorials, cartoons, interviews involving Srinivasan over the 13-day period.

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May 22

Lead story: IPL fixing scandal could reach the top

Team-owner’s relative [Gurunath Meiyappan] under lens

Phone records link him with betting syndicate

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May 23

Lead story: Police prepare to question BCCI chief’s son-in-law for betting links Day after TOI‘s report, CSK boss Gurunath Meiyappan elusive

BCCI chief mum on Meiyappan role

Editorial: Clean the Stables

A school dropout, Guru tried to build career in Srinivasan shadow

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May 24

Cops land at BCCI chief’s family’s doorstep Srinivasan’s son-in-law gets summons, seeks time

[CSK] Team boss lost a crore on bets: Vindoo

BCCI brass faces fixing heat

Rules did not stop him from wearing two hats Industry captain and BCCI power player

From Board chief, the silent treatment

Srinivasan also under CBI lens in Jagan Mohan Reddy assets case

BCCI chief may use his clout

Interview: ‘Those at the top in BCCi should resign': Lalit Modi

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May 25

Guru arrested, Srinivasan may lose crown

After hours of grilling, cops say BCCI chief’s son-in-law ‘involved in offence’

Srinivasan rejects growing calls for resignation, threatens to ‘fix’ media

Interview: It’s either Srinivasan or Sahara, says Subroto Roy

India Cements shares at 52-week low

India Cements disowns Gurunath

Is Srini trying to insulate CSK?

Law catches up with the son-in-law

Srinivasan should quit right away, say voices in the BCCI

Interview: A.C. Muthiah has a go at his arch-enemy

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May 26

Real final: Srinivasan vs Rest of India

Ouster plan: first nudge, then shove

‘I won’t be bulldozed into quitting, media unfair': Srinivasan

Graphic: 3/4 majority to remove President

Strapline: Someone’s stepping down

Cricket fans should bat for a change

BCCI prez may manage to stay on

Law will take its course: Board chief on son-in-law Srini meets Meiyappan’s lawyers

‘Brand India Cements to take a hit’

IPL needs to cleanse itself from within

Former stars want BCCI prez to go

Srini men start lobbying, Shukla meets Jagmohan Dalmiya in Kolkata

Interview: ‘It was a huge mistake to bring Srinivasan into administration': A.C. Muthiah

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May 27

Weak-kneed BCCI falls in line as Srinivasan flatly refuses to walk

Strapline: Chief says he is above board

Editorial: The darkest hour—Srinivasan must quit, followed by the overthrow of cricket’s absentee landlord and revamp of BCCI

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May 28

Lead story: Why are they silent?

Cartoon: He is taking bets on who’s going to be the first to resign

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May 29

Lead story: Jyotiraditya Scindia becomes first neta in BCCI to say Srinivasan should resign

Strapline: Across fields, Board boss under fire ‘Time for him to go’

Talking heads with 30 voices

Interview: Srinivasan holds power and wields it: Kishore Rungta

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May 30

Lead story: Finally, Rajiv Shukla and Arun Jaitley say they too want Srinivasan out

Cracks widen in BCCI, even treasurer Ajay Shirke says he would have quit

Strapline: Chorus against Board boss swells

Six talking heads

Srini still has the numbers to hang on

Cheating case filed against Srinivasan

Strapline: Wheels within wheels

Minieditorial: calling for resignation

Jaitley, Shukla asked defiant Srini to quit; BCCI chief said ‘Not in my nature’

Third edit: The Sons-in-law factor, by Bachi Karkaria

Edit page piece: Rip the veil of silence, by Ayaz Memom

May the foes be with you: all the president’s men are fair-weather friends

The endgame has begun

Dalmiya denies he asked Srinivasan not to resign

No one in BCCI asked for his resignation: Shirke

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May 31

Lead story: Majority now against Srinivasan, can call BCCI meet to remove him

Strapline: Board boss on a turning pitch

How Srini gave himself a life term

Srini’s conflict of interest hearing from July 16

Cartoon: I’m going to hang on to this post as long as I want

India Cements underperform peers

Anti-Srini camp won’t wait for probe

19 talking heads on which way board meet will go

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June 1

Lead story: Game all but over for Srinivasan

Six days after BCCI boss declared he had board’s unanimous support, he’s running out of partners His no.2 and no. 3 quit, several more top officials to follow suit

Cartoon: Punchline: The best spot-fixer I’ve seen—he’s so fixed to the spot that no one can get him away from it

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June 2

Lead story: Srini sets terms for exit, BCCI members unwilling to play ball

Strapline: His four demands

Mini editorial

Srinivasan wanted Shukla to go too

Advertisement: “To run sports in India you don’t need to be good in games, only in gamesmanship”

Srinivasan vs ICC

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June 3

Lead story: Match result: all out for no loss

Srinivasan to ‘step aside': some say it’s a face-saver for him, others call it an anti-climax and a sham

Strap line: Will he really sit it out?

Editorial: nation dismayed: BCCI’s credibility lies in tatters as India’s cricket fans are sold a lemon

For Srini, a strategic time out

‘Nobody dared ask Srini to quit, only he spoke for first 40 minutes’

Cartoon: I’ve stepped aside

Srini shot down Shashank Manohar‘s name

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Infographic and advertisement: courtesy The Times of India

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Also read: The Times of India and Commonwealth Games

107 headlines from TOI on Commonwealth Games

How The Times of India pumped up Team Anna

‘Regional TV better than English news channels’

22 May 2013

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Malvika Singh, the publisher of Seminar magazine, in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“A pathetic scam that is plaguing the Indian Premier League has been making headlines for days, as though nothing else of any importance is happening in India. The media has been grossly irresponsible in this regard. This has not only made public discourse mediocre, but the truth has been systematically blotted out from news and reportage.

“How news is reported and presented is governed by higher powers and personal leanings. Half-baked news stories, a foggy truth and self-promotion come together, causing disaster.

“The electronic media — particularly the English language channels — report much like local city channels do in the United States of America, where even the slightest of things makes headlines. Ironically, the quality of news on the regional language channels and the state channels is better; it is far more cohesive and centred around real and dominating socio-economic and political issues.

“On TV channels, the same boring, predictable faces spout their personal views and positions with abandon, collect their performance fees, and go home. Outside broadcast vans have been known to arrive at private dinners to get a ‘bite’ from people who are guests at another person’s house, thereby rudely disrupting the get-together for the other people present there.

“There is something utterly ugly about this kind of uncultured, uncivilized and unabashed self-promotion. On the superficial social circuit in the capital, such television appearances titillate the performers more than the audience.”

Photograph: courtesy The Indian Express

Read the full article: Service by the people

Also read: ‘Indian TV is like a nautanki, a real soap opera’

BCCI’s 8-point list of media don’ts for IPL

30 March 2013

IPL-Cheer-Girls-Awesome-Dance

Giving the kind of brand equity cricket commands, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been majestically proactive in protecting its rights (and the rights of rights holders) over the game.

Result: representatives of Cricinfo, which is now owned by ESPN, cannot file from the press box and have to watch the match from the stands, because the rights are with Star.

Result: news agencies routinely boycott coverage of matches, especially by way of pictures.

Result: a legend like Jim Maxwell of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) skipped the recent series because ABC didn’t have the rights.

With the Indian Premier League (IPL) around the corner, BCCI’s legal representatives (operating from the safe confines of a post office box number in Bangalore) have shot off letters to print organisations on the use of logos, trademarks, word marks and other “proprietary content”.

The eight-point list of don’ts is revealing:

Please be informed that, without license, your publication/s may not:

i.  use any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Proprietary Content in conjunction with any advertisement, message, name, logo, trade mark or word mark of any third party;

ii. publish any article, match synopsis, match review, or snap-shot relating to the Pepsi IPL or any previous IPL seasons that uses any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Proprietary Content in conjunction with any  unlicensed advertisement, message, name, logo, trade mark or word mark of a third party,

iii. publish any photograph that relates to the Pepsi IPL or any previous seasons of the IPL that is sponsored by any third party, or contain catchphrases that refer to any third party (e.g, “Entity A’ Moment of the Match”),

iv. publish third party sponsored or presented score-cards of Pepsi IPL matches,

v. publish third party sponsored capsules or tables containing fixtures, timings and/or venue details of Pepsi IPL matches,

vi. publish any syndicated column that displays any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Proprietary Content and displays the name, trade mark, word mark logo of any commercial or non-commercial entity/entities,

vii. publish a special page, section or supplement relating to Pepsi IPL that displays any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks, and IPL Proprietary Content in conjunction with any advertisement, message, name, logo, trade mark or word mark of a third party, or

viii. publish still images by altering or deliberately removing, replacing or obscuring any logo of a sponsor of the BCCI-IPL, a participating team or a participating player;

Also read: How journalists are aiding the decadent IPL

Why the watchdogs didn’t bark during IPL loot

Why a unique newspaper isn’t covering the IPL

How come no one saw IPL cookie crumbling

The Times of India, India Times and IPL-4

How journalists are aiding the decadent IPL

12 May 2012

The academic, writer and critic Mukul Kesavan in The Times of India:

“The IPL is, in media terms, such a honeypot, that the traditional distinction between pundits in the electronic and print media paid to comment on sport and the commentators contracted to describe and celebrate it on television, has dissolved. We have seen people wearing both hats without the slightest self-consciousness….

“The people who run the IPL and the journalists who cover it, seem to positively celebrate the fact that IPL teams are playthings of the rich and famous….

“When the governors of cricket in India begin to use female bodies to sell tickets and capture television ratings you know that a cricket tournament has lost its bearings and become something else. And when the journalists who enable the tamasha and the audiences who watch it begin to take the dancing girls for granted, there is a larger sickness abroad.”

Read the full article: Decadence and the IPL

Also read: Indian cricket reporters are too soft on cricketers

Why a unique newspaper isn’t covering the IPL

The Times of India, indiatimes.com and IPL-4

How come no one saw the IPL cookie crumbling

Why a unique newspaper isn’t covering the IPL

24 May 2011

Parimala Bhat reads Sparshdnyan, one of the world’s few newspapers to cater to the visually impaired.

This week’s Sunday Guardian carries a story on Sparshdnyan, a newspaper in Braille for the visually impaired. Published out of Bombay twice a month, the 48-page paper is sent out to some 400 subscribers in Maharashtra.

The paper’s editor Swagat Thorat estimates readership at 24,000 copies per issue, most of them in the 18-35 segment  that advertisers love, but not surprisingly the paper gets no ads.

The editor tells correspondent Rick Westhead that he receives 600-700 letters each issue, and covers his Rs 30,000 per month administrative costs by selling wildlife pictures.

“We cover almost everything,” Thorat says, “but there are a few topics we don’t like.”

One, surprisingly, is India’s national passion: cricket.

“The paper we use is very expensive because it’s so thick for the Braille and I just don’t want to waste it on a topic that is covered in so many other places,” he says.

“I want to make sure we have more on things like science technologies, missions to Mars, and maybe more on India’s foreign policy.”

Photograph: courtesy The Sunday Guardian

Read the full article: Braille newspaper shows blind new world

Contact Sparshdnyan: sprshdnyan [at] gmail [dot] com

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Also read: The Musalman: world’s oldest calligraphed paper

Sudharma, India’s only Sanskrit newspaper turns 38

Why the watchdogs didn’t bark during IPL loot

8 May 2010

The kerfuffle in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has brought to the fore the conflict of interest that helped prevent the scams and controversies from being detected or reported earlier.

The former Somerset captain and cricket writer Peter Roebuck writes in The Hindu:

“Cricket tolerates widespread conflicts of interest.

“Besides taking seats on the IPL governing body, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri also cover the matches on television. Doubtless they also contribute columns. In effect they are writing their own reviews.

Harsha Bhogle assisted the Mumbai Indians. None of them is in a position to subject IPL to the scrutiny required by their media responsibilities….

“It may seem churlish to suggest they cannot have it both ways. Sincerity, though, is not the issue. Every estate has its part to play. As has amply been proved in India over the last few weeks, the media is the watchdog. All the more reason to insist that it is free to bark whenever it sees fit.”

Read the full article: Conflicts of interest abound in cricket

Also read: How come no one saw the IPL cookie crumbling?

Aroon Purie‘s rule no.1 in journalism: ‘There are no gods’

Look, who’s also in the IPL racket? An editor!

‘Dubai is a haven of information for journalists’

28 April 2010

Dubai is a recurring theme in the ongoing tragicomedy in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Shashi Tharoor, who has to give up his ministership, was a consultant with a Dubai firm before taking the plunge in electoral politics. His close friend Sunanda Pushkar lives there. The new head of the Cochin IPL franchise Harshad Mehta is a resident of the city. Etc.

Plus, there are is the betting and matchfixing angle with a Dubai edge.

K.P. Nayar explains in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“For a journalist with a ‘nose’ for information, Dubai is one of the most open places in the world. Once a newsman has won the trust of an Arab, howsoever sensitive his position may be, he will share information with you which will be wrapped in multiple layers of secrecy in most other countries.

“In my decade-long experience in Dubai, people share information with trusted journalists in the full knowledge that it will not be written about — until after decades, as in the case of this narrative. Unless, of course, the journalist is seeking a one-way plane ticket out of the Emirate.”

Read the full article: The edge of a precipice

Photograph: courtesy Follow the money

‘Rule No. 1 of journalism: There are no gods.’

23 April 2010

Three weeks ago India Today magazine put Lalit Modi, commissioner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) of cricket, on the cover with the line, “Billion-Dollar Baby”.

It puts him on the cover again this week, with the line “Run Out”.

Editor-in-chief Aroon Purie in his letter to readers, offers a muted mea culpa:

“Rule No. 1 of journalism: there are no gods. And if they appear to be so they usually have feet of clay.

“So it was with a fast-talking dynamic 46-year-old man who came from nowhere three years ago and became the god of cricket in India. This is none other than IPL commissioner Lalit Modi who is today embroiled in controversy.

“It is rare for India Today to fete someone on the cover for spectacular achievement and then put them on it within the same month for being in trouble. It was, however, inevitable as the IPL is not only a phenomenon that has revolutionised cricket but last week shook the government and led to the exit of one of its ministers.”

Also read: How come no one saw the IPL cookie crumbling?

The scoreline: different strokes for different folks

Look who is also in the IPL racket? An editor!

How come no one spotted the Satyam fraud?

How come no one saw the election worm turn?

How come no one saw the IPL cookie crumbling?

21 April 2010

The collapse of the Indian Premier League (IPL) pack of cards is identical to the unravelling of the Satyam fraud in 2009, from a media perspective. Namely, no media organisation—newspaper, magazine, TV station or internet website—saw it before it happened.

Or wanted to see it coming.

The player auctions, the franchise bids, the television rights, the glitz, the glamour, the sleaze were all unquestioningly swallowed and spewed out with nary an eyebrow raised.

Just three weeks ago, India Today magazine was putting the the IPL commissioner Lalit Modi—now accused of conflict of interest, nepotism, shady deals, corruption, sex, drugs, betting, match-fixing, and worse—on the cover, with a couple of cheer girls.

Till a week ago, The Times of India was happily having it both ways.

So, did nobody see it coming? At least one hand has gone up. Former Outlook magazine* journalists T.R. Vivek and Alam Srinivas co-authored a book on the IPL’s marriage of cricket and commerce last year.

In an interview with rediff.com‘s Krishnakumar Padmanabhan, Vivek says the red flags were visible from the very beginning.

Q: As an observer of the IPL from the early days, did you see any early warning signs? If so, what were they?

A: The very fact that cricket was being taken ‘private’ in one stroke was a red flag for me. It was quite similar to the East European countries embracing unfettered free market economics straight from the lap of Communism without any necessary groundwork for the transition. I was in a minority when I first raised questions about promoter motives, and antecedents.

What do a Mukesh Ambani or a Vijay Mallya know about the game to become cricket entrepreneurs? Are they here because it is their passion, or is it because owning a sports property was cool, and it propelled their social status higher than the already rarified echelons?

The franchise auction process left a lot of questions unanswered.

Another red flag for me was whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India had the management bandwidth, execution capabilities to embark on a novel idea such as this.

* Disclosures apply

Read the full interview: ‘Modi tinkered with the rules all the time’

Also read: How come no one spotted the Satyam fraud?

How come no one saw the worm turn?

The scoreline: different strokes for different folks

Look who is also in the IPL racket? An editor!

Look, who is also in the IPL racket? An editor!

18 April 2010

In his story on the burgeoning scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Shantanu Guha-Ray, the business editor of Tehelka magazine, casually reveals how “the editor of a major Indian media house whose son had recently come under the radar of corporate intelligence bodies, is also trying to get into the IPL franchise racket.”

Image: courtesy Tehelka

Read the full story: The Indian Premier Leak

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