It is only the third season but some whispered talks have started rearing their heads in some quarters that IPL has started experiencing spectator fatigue and something urgent needs to be done, to stem the rot. It is probably one of the only stances where such kind of talks are being made in hushed tones, though in the arena of sports tournaments have been going on for centuries but the notion of spectator fatigue has not been talked about at all.
Lets look at the plausible reasons for this kind of talk. One of the primary reasons, why these kind of issues are being talked about could be owing to the fact that the teams have not been able to innovate to increase the collection from the spectators apart from the normal fee. Well, Kolkata Knight Riders have already shown the way, and other teams could take a leaf out from their book and adapt it.
Spectator fatigue could also be construed owing to the drop in footfalls during the matches. It is however inevitable, as the matches of IPL continue to be played throughout the weekdays, and it indeed would be difficult for the viewers to attend the matches after having a busy day at the office. No wonder, television has emerged as such a potent force in IPL, and it could be precisely for this reason that the IPL authorities are not inclined to allow free sharing of bytes to various news channels as it is being seen as a money spinner.
Spectator fatigue can be mitigated by innovation and as a first step forward in this direction IPL authorities have decided that in the third season IPL would have two breaks during a course of the match instead of one as it happened in previous two matches. Would this innovation be helpful to mitigate the fatigue, would be interesting to find when the IPL unfolds.
The notion of spectator fatigue could also have gained ground, as youth of the country may not come in the desired numbers as the IPL matches coincide with their exams. However it needs to be emphasized that sporting events of the likes of IPL do not belong to a category where a success or failure needs to be equated with spectator fatigue. The real test would come when the curtains are raised from the third chapter.
By: Suman Rai