To know the scores of games and listen to the commentary of the first ICC Cricket World Cup in 1975, all of us relied on just one medium and that was radio. And this was only possible on BBC; to get the right reception one had to stand on the balcony or terrace of one’s Mumbai apartment, holding the radio set in different directions. It was exciting to hear the great radio commentators like Brian Johnston and Christopher Martin Jenkins covering the matches. Radio had its own charm and one could hear the commentary without any interruption – interestingly, there were no jingles or ad spots. The second ICC Cricket World Cup was more or less identical to 1975 and we still depended on radio as the only source of medium to know the score.
The change in the medium happened in 1983 as the matches were telecast on TV by Doordharshan; if I remember correctly, DD showed only the India-England semi-final and the India-West Indies final. Even our state TV channel was not too sure that India would amount to anything, given our abysmal performances in the two previous World Cups! But the interesting feature was that people who had color sets could watch the matches in color as Indian TV had shifted to color during the Asian Games. Here again matches were telecast without any interruptions as there were no advertisements. And this was one of the most memorable world cups for Indians as Kapil’s men bagged the World Cup by shocking the strong West Indian team.
1987 saw a new dimension to the World Cup as the tournament was held in India. It was called the Reliance Cup; it was prestigious for India to hold the tournament since the previous three had been held in England. We witnessed a number of brands getting associated with cricket in a big way and the tournament was highly successful. India, as an organizer, put up a good show and this was the beginning of the game becoming bigger and reaching a larger audience. But during those days DD had the telecast rights and all matches were telecast only on DD.
Over the last few years, the game has grown bigger and newer media formats have come into play, from TV to radio and now mobile where you can enjoy live scores on the go. Newer technology and the increase of mobile usage has now made it possible for every second of entertainment to be captured and engagement with cricket on mobile has increased manifold. For mobile this is just the beginning and we will see more inventions and innovation on the mobile platform to make it more attractive and engaging to advertisers and brands. Live engagement on the go is what consumers want which only the mobile medium can deliver with rich media content and interesting videos.
The guest author of this piece is Senior Vice -President, Eureka Mobile Advertising.
Visual courtesy : https://www.flickr.com/photos/hindrik/