For the first time, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is going to experiment with two matches played simultaneously at different venues. This will take place on the last day of the league stage of the ongoing tournament.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to such a request from official broadcaster Star India. The Indian Express understands that the board discussed the matter during the IPL Governing Council meeting a few days ago where a decision was taken to go ahead with the idea.
Hence, on the last day of the league stage of the ongoing season, instead of one afternoon match and one evening game, two matches will be held at the same time in the evening at two venues.
The rationale behind Star’s request is the lower TRP of afternoon games.
“In a first for the IPL, the last two league matches before the VIVO IPL 2021 Playoffs will be played concurrently. On the last day of the league stage (08.10.2021) of the ongoing season, instead of having one afternoon match and one evening match, two matches (SRH v MI and RCB v DC) will be played simultaneously at 7.30 PM IST (6.00 PM GST),” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a press release.
A BCCI official later revealed that broadcasters aren’t getting high TRP (Television Rating Points) for afternoon matches.
“The official broadcaster had asked BCCI whether they can have two games simultaneously in two different venues. The broadcasters have informed us that TRP for afternoon games is less compared to evening games. The BCCI can experiment with having two games simultaneously. As Star has multiple channels under their banner, they can provide live telecast of two games smoothly. So, BCCI has agreed to the request,” the board official told The Indian Express.
It is learnt that BCCI will take feedback from Star after the two games about the TRP generated. As the board is planning to have two new IPL teams next year, this could help it to conduct more games in fewer days. Till now, the BCCI had few double headers in the IPL, which made it tough for the cricketers given the harsh Indian summers.
“This could help us in our scheduling going ahead, as two new teams means more games. The BCCI will decide if such norms can be continued ahead,” the official added.