GEC no match to BCCI; expecting half of India to watch IPL: Johri

Rahul Johri, BCCI CEO - InsideSport

Rahul Johri has opined that GEC genre in India is no match to the cricket as the strongest entertainment medium in India.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India Chief Executive, Johri speaking at an event in Mumbai has described cricket as one of the strongest entertainment factors in India; the passport to the future, which is keeping up with changing consumer patterns.

The commercial strength of cricket’s reach in India was to the fore during the Indian Premier League media rights auction. Star India’s successful bid of ₹16,340.5 crore had taken even the BCCI by surprise. “Even the winner (Star) was stumped by numbers. We were estimating the digital numbers for the bid and to our surprise, it was thousand crores more than what we had estimated,” Johri is reported as saying in an Exchange4Media report.

Johri, speaking at the unveiling of the 16th Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2018, asserted that the huge numbers signify the importance of cricket and points towards the fact that the game will only continue to grow. “A 100 million people watched the Indian Premier League this (last) year. “We’re looking at half a country to watch it now. That’s the kind of ambition we have,” he added.
He minced no words to answer the question of whether BCCI is likely to kill GEC? “If you think it (GEC) will die then it will. It’s about how you think of it,” he said while highlighting BCCI’s role in managing stadiums, logistics and ensuring that they embrace cutting-edge innovation and technology. “It is all a humongous operation and what you see is just the culmination of it,” he said. “BCCI vs GEC? I don’t think there is any match.”

The BCCI has also been able to assert an edge with its in-house production set up. “It is not dependent on a fixed budget but is all about being first in every sphere. Today, we are at a cusp of change. Consumption patterns are changing and it is all about content that is future ready and delivers value. That is the power of cricket,” he added.

“If you look at Twitter followers of cricket stars, you will get a sense of what people follow. It is expanding and driving valuations of the market,” Johri said and while also revealing BCCI’s plans of simplifying the process of changing language on the channels for consumers. “We will play the role of leaders and expand the market even further,” he asserted.