|Mumbai's cricket devotees on Saturday offered flowers in the form of a World Cup replica at the Mumba Devi temple|
Prime time ad spots
Adwallahs pumping their money into prime-time saas-bahu sagas may cry their way out of the bank, especially during India matches, warn ad gurus.
"Admakers (those not advertising for cricket) could incur losses worth crores of rupees during the World Cup," says Prahlad Kakkar.
TV channels such as Star Plus, Zee TV and Sony are wondering whether their show TRPs might be hit just like last year (see box).
Star Plus dropped from a high of 21.31 prior to the big game to its lowest of 17.3 during the World Cup week in 2003, while Sony Entertainment dropped from 5.71 to its lowest of 4.5.
But ICC World Cup's official broadcaster SET (Sony Entertainment Television) Max, believes it will grab twice as many eyeballs as it did during the last World Cup in 2003.
To begin with, cable TV connections of 32 million in 2003 have now shot up to 70 million. Rohit Gupta, Executive Vice-President, SET India, said, "With World Cup being telecast during prime time, we get massive viewership. We are talking about a massive 350 million viewers here (70 million cable connections multiplied by five per family)."
Gupta explains how the money will be earned. "For advertising on all 51 matches, we have fixed a rate of Rs 1.5 lakh for a 10-second spot.
If you want to put in your money only on India's 12 matches, inclusive of the semi-final and the final, then it is Rs 4.5 lakh for a 10-seconder. Finally, the 27 super-8 matches of the series would cost Rs 2.75 lakh for ten-seconds of ad time."
In its latest report published last week, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), London, has pegged 270 million pounds (521 million dollars) as the loss that the British economic productivity would suffer during this World Cup. So would the Indian economy suffer just as well?
Lalit Thakkar, head of Angel Broking Analysts doesn't think so. He said, "I don't think the World Cup would affect the economy in any way.
If you check the previous World Cups, there was no significant change in the economy. Also, in 2003, the frenzy and the euphoria was the same, but the economy remained stable. In any case, all the matches are post-evening, and hence it wont affect the investors nor the markets."
"Although it wouldn't grab the international imagination to the same extent as the Soccer World Cup, it remains the case that, even to those only half interested, watching cricket is one of the best ways of avoiding working known to man," the CEBR study observed.
Bookings of cricket grounds have increased
Ground bookings across the city have improved due to the cup fever. Jagdish Jaiswal, groundsman at the plush Dadar Parsi Colony sports club, said that the cup fever had translated into more cricket enthusiasts and more ground bookings.
Jaiswal, says,, "Even during the previous World Cups, we witnessed a fair-like atmosphere, with the public going cricket-crazy and wanting to participate in it by playing more matches.
Be it family matches, tournaments, or festival matches arranged by corporates, this World Cup has been big for us, with a heavy rush for bookings."
Officials from other grounds added that they wouldn't have to fear a booking slump during India matches either this time, as all matches were scheduled only at night.
|Haji Ali Dargah too saw fans bringing in a chaddar of flowers shaped like the Cup PICS/MANDAR DEODHAR|
Travel packages to Windies are not finding too many takers. Hotel rates are US$600-800 a night. Travel agents have claimed that thousands had flocked to visit South Africa last time, but bookings have hit a slump this time.
"Even the drop in Windies eight-night packages from Rs 3.5 lakh packages to Rs 2.5 lakh packages, hasn't brought much hope," says travel agent, Mansukh Shah.
Proprietor of National Tours and Travels, Rajesh Rambhia, said that most people don't alter travelling plans because of World Cup, and hence his business has been steady throughout. "But of course, not too many people prefer to travel on the days of India matches," he adds.
Deputy General Manager, MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation), Vijay Chavan says, "It's business as usual, with vacations approaching and exams wrapped up, ticket booking is on a full swing. Cricket barely affects our customers."
Bollywood cashes in
Hat Trick, Meerabai Not Out, Hook Ya Crook, and Salaam India are some of Bollywood's sixers with cricket-based plotlines this summer.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says, "It's fair to capitalise on the cricket fever and combine the game with a good storyline for greater effect."
During the last World Cup, few biggies were released due to the fear they'd bomb at the box-office. "Cup fever will leave a big dent on the box-office this time, especially during India matches.
Even if you whip out a combo like Amitabh, Aamir and Shah Rukh together, it would be difficult to emerge winner," adds Adarsh.
Dr Suvarna Telang, cardiologist of Asian Heart Institute says, "People who have heart clots or blood pressure problem should not
get over-excited or become very disappointed. This is just a game and treat it like one."
"The surge of adrenaline in the body could lead to heart problems also," Dr Telang adds. World Cup fever sees a notable rise in heart patients because of the excitement, says Telang.
There are no studies in Mumbai for such cases, but, he says, "We have seen heart attacks because of sudden excitement."
While watching World Cup on television you need to sit right. Watching TV for long periods of six to eight hours will strain the back, shoulders and neck. Dr Vivek Shetty, Consultant Orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgeon of P D Hinduja National Hospital says, "Sitting in wrong position can cause pain in the joints."
If you have a sofa at home and lie on it while watching television, be sure your neck and shoulders get proper support. A pillow will help.
Keep your TV on the same level as your eyesight or a little below and not above. Never lie on the floor to watch TV. If you do, take a break and do some simple exercises.
We did the right thing by batting first, but I expected the first wicket to only fall by the 15th over. Virender Sehwag let us down.
Forgetting this experience, India should play with a positive outlook and in their usual caliber.
All we need is a positive approach, leaving behind these bad memories and we can win easily.
— Naveen Chomal, advocate
Why Rahul Dravid took this decision to bat first, only he knows.
It is an old plan of his and a very bad decision. Bangladesh has become a formidable opponent.
We started on the wrong foot and it was anybody's guess. Sehwag is just taking up the place of others.
I don't know if India will win against Bermuda, but I hope they learn a lesson from this.
— Dayanand Narvekar, BCCI Vice-President
I expected the first wicket to fall between 15-20 overs, in the worst-case scenario against a team like Bangladesh, in 10-15 overs.
This is insulting. I am most disappointed in Tendulkar because the team depends on him.
He is my favorite so it hurts to see him perform badly. India can win against Bermuda, but going by today, you shouldn't underestimate the weaker side. And by the 40th over, we would still have six wickets in hand.
— Shridhar Babu, IIT student
Dravid read the wicket wrongly. There was a little moisture in the wicket. We could have opted to bat second.
India's performance has been disappointing, but 190 is not an abysmal score. I'm disappointed in the entire top order.
Seven batsmen failing is hard to take. Bangladesh turned in a very professional performance; they've bowled extremely well.
— Kiran Ashar (ex-Mumbai Ranji Trophy player, now cricket coach)
Rahul Dravid let us down. He's the most reliable player and he should have played better. He made the right decision in going to bat first.
But I expected our first wicket to fall after the 15th or 20th over.
If we're to win against Bermuda, the team should take tips from old stalwarts of Indian cricket.
— Rajendra More, marketing executive
India should've batted first, because you need your batting line up to settle in the opening match.
I expected India to lose its first wicket early, in fact exactly when it fell.
I was most disappointed with Tendulkar. With his experience, he should've taken the Bangladeshi bowling. India can win against Bermuda if we're aggressive, not cautious.
— Salil Panchal, Investment Advisor
India's opening match performances at the WC
India vs England: England won the toss and elected to bat. India lost. England won by 202 runs.
India vs West Indies: West Indies won the toss and put India in to bat first. West Indies won by 9 wickets.
India vs West Indies: West Indies won the toss and sent India to bat first. India won by 34 runs.
India vs Australia: India won the toss and made Australia bat. Australia won by 1 run.
India vs England: England won the toss and elected to bat first. They won by 9 runs.
India vs Kenya: India won the toss and sent Kenya in to bat. India won by 7 wickets.
India vs South Africa: India won the toss and decided to bat. South Africa won by 5 wickets.
India vs Holland: India won the toss, went in to bat first and won by 68 runs.