Star India CEO Uday Shankar believes the broadcaster needs to think out of the box to make up for the lack of atmosphere in the stadium if the Indian Premier League season resumed behind closed doors later this year.
Shankar believes that in the age of the internet, maintaining the viewing experience of sport on TV that is played without fans should not be a huge challenge.
Star India is considering a possibility of splicing clips of animated fans on the edge of their living room couch with on-field action during the live telecast as one of the innovations to make up for the lack of atmosphere.
“Why will I need a camera? Everyone has a phone and a camera. I just need to source them. We’ll have to start thinking differently, it’s a creative challenge,” Shankar told “Whenever you’re watching a tense moment at home, do you not have a very intense expression on your face? So, all we need to do is capture it. So, you can be at home but you can also be on television,” he added.
“We will figure out ways of creating and enhancing the atmosphere through graphics, audio, sound,” he continued.
Shankar believes that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how people adapt to new ways and the same can happen with changes in the telecast.
“It is the business and the experts who are more stuck in their ways. I think people are far more open than we give them credit (for),” he said.
Citing the example of Hotstar, Shankar said people have now accepted the app as a platform to view live sport despite the initial concerns that the experience of live sport on small mobile screens would not be as interesting.
The 13th edition of the IPL is postponed indefinitely but with doubts over the T20 World Cup in October, there could be a window available for the Board of Control for Cricket in India to stage the IPL.
However, Shankar believes that the IPL should only go ahead when it’s completely safe to do so.