IPL 2020 Broadcasters Likely To Embrace 'Virtual Commentary' Idea
IPL broadcaster is toying with the idea of introducing “virtual commentary” in the upcoming franchise-based league after being emboldened by its successful recent experiment in an exhibition match.
There will be several changes in the way IPL 2020 is conducted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the changes that could be brought about is the 'commentary from home' feature. The IPL broadcaster is toying with the idea of introducing “virtual commentary” in the upcoming franchise-based league. After being emboldened by its successful recent experiment in an exhibition match.
For a live game at Centurion Park in South Africa on Sunday. Irfan Pathan was doing commentary from his Baroda home. Furthermore, Deep Dasgupta from Kolkata and Sanjay Manjrekar from his Mumbai residence. The experiment turned out to be successful. And the broadcasters of IPL 2020 might plan to do the same for the 13th edition of the IPL.
Being able to commentate from his home for a game taking place thousand of kilometres away, former India all-rounder Pathan called the experience nothing short of “magical”.
In a world that is changing everyday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IPL broadcaster Star Sports has experimented with virtual commentary for a 36-over exhibition game featuring three teams at Centurion Park.
It was not just the commentators as the crew also logged in from all parts of the country with the director sitting in Mysore.
The experiment was fairly successful, notwithstanding a few teething issues. It could be a regular feature in the upcoming IPL, if not for the main feeds in Hindi and English, at least for growing regional feeds like Tamil, Telegu and Kannada to start with.
“It was an extraordinary experience. Though we were worried throughout because the internet speed can fluctuate. In addition, that affects the voice quality. Anything can happen anytime in live cricket and with technology not fully in your control. It can be tricky but Star did a wonderful job,” Pathan told PTI.
“Though this was an exhibition game, everyone took it very seriously as they all wanted the show to resume (after months of break).
“Star is usually very thorough with its planning and execution but commentary from home in the IPL will be a massive challenge,” said the former pacer, who had to lock himself in a room to not get distracted on the job while his son knocked on the door from time to time.
The idea of commentary from home was created out of necessity amid the current COVID-19 situation. Ensuring not just safety of the commentators but also cost effectiveness.
Pathan feels there is no substitute to commentary from the ground but part of the panel commentating from a remote production facility in Mumbai during the IPL is not new and is something that was implemented successfully last year.
The broadcaster produces as many as 10 feeds for the IPL with Hindi accounting for two-third of the overall viewership.
It is much easier to be in sync when you are sitting next to each other while commentating. And creating the same chemistry was a challenge from home, said Pathan.
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