Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Your website ran over my portal

The IPL continues to offend and annoy. This time, over its "discriminatory" treatment of cricket websites like Cricinfo. One shouldn't be surprised by this. A peculiar market logic drives all of the IPL's actions; in its view, the game is a commodity that has to be marketed, one which could be rendered uselessly common and must be kept scarce (but only in marketing, not in actual competition, the market for which will magically expand provided the right sort of marketing is used). CI has used grown to thinking of itself as part of the cricketing establishment because of its long presence in the cricket world, and for its pioneering role in covering the game. But once the Internet became ubiquitous, and so did the technical talent that made the first CI possible, and as the managers of cricket wanted their own site, their own advertising revenue, then CI became less of a promoter of the game than a competitor for the managers. The market logic of the "our portal vs. yours" is inescapable. (One could contest the figures being employed by the IPL but the rhetorical strategy should be familiar to anyone who is used to the way in which talk of eyeballs-unique visitors plays out in these settings). Expect more, as the brave new world-child of the marriage of new media with the new cricket is born. (Do you think the IPL will take kindly to IPL highlights being put up on YouTube?)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

.... and you see this attitude everywhere, where balance is completely out of whack and 'too much' is never enough. I like to think that banks should have a social responsibility, not just a duty to maximise profits for shareholders.
As the guardians of both the heritage and future of the game, cricket administrators need to think beyond their immediate sphere of influence .... the greater good, perhaps?

12:59 AM  

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