Uday Shankar: ‘I can’t comment on BCCI administration’

Star India CEO, after bagging IPL media rights, says he is only concerned about broadcasting cricket; refuses to delve deep into the functioning of the board.

Star India CEO Uday Shankar is only concerned about broadcasting cricket and not the functioning of the BCCI.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

 

There has been so much bad news surrounding the BCCI and IPL in the last three years and when asked how he looks at the BCCI, especially on the count of honesty and integrity, the Star India Chairman and CEO, Uday Shankar said, “It’s not for me to comment on the administration, politics and everything else of BCCI. That’s not our business. We have an interest in broadcasting cricket, on digital and on television because we believe that the power of cricket in this country is enormous. Five-six years ago when we got into sports broadcasting our view was that India was a market, where as far as the popularity of sport is concerned, including cricket, only the surface of the earth has been scratched.

Read: Star India wins IPL global rights for 5 years

“Given what is happening in terms of both, the excitement that sports in general and cricket in particular has continued to generate in this country, despite everything that is written in the media and all the issues that have come up, it has given credence to our faith in the continued power of cricket. That is why we remain committed to it. You should also notice one thing that, regardless of whatever happens, India is one country where, when cricket happens on the ground, it is still an amazing experience for the people and that is corroborated by the number of people watching it on TV and the number of people who throng the stadiums. We look only at that facet and for the rest, there are other agencies including the BCCI that have to look after.’’

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Shankar, further said, “This tender has been blessed by the Supreme Court, the BCCI, and the Supreme Court Committee of Administrators; they have all come together and they have decided to do it in a certain manner. That gives us complete confidence to participate in it.’’

Responding to the confidence and faith shown by Star India, the BCCI acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary said, “In any journey of any organisation there are many phases. Likewise, BCCI has gone through a phase which can be appropriately labelled as difficult. In my view, if a phase did confront the BCCI where it was made to examine oneself ,I don’t necessarily think it was a phase which was negative and therefore we were still growing. It is a stage of growth and the necessary corrections are being contemplated and incorporated. We are actually in no way seeing the whole thing as a negative juxtapose with the positive. We just keep growing and I am sure we can gain from this stage as well.’’