Two World Cups & A Mega Election

07 Oct,2022

 

 

 

By Shailesh Kapoor

 

Shailesh KapoorWe are in the last quarter of 2022. It’s been a fairly ‘normal’ year, after the painfully-disruptive 2020 and 2021. It’s also a year that saw normalcy return to the entertainment business, despite pandemic-related challenges linked to changing audience habits and taste.

 

The last two-and-a-half months of the year promise to pack a punch from a mass media perspective. Starting later this month, we have the much-awaited T20 Cricket World Cup in Australia. The tournament was originally scheduled for 2020, but was canceled because of the pandemic. The 2021 edition in India was eventually held in the UAE, with ICC moving the Australia edition to 2022.

 

India’s campaign kicks off with the marquee India-Pakistan clash on Sunday, October 23. With a depleted and somewhat-inexperienced bowling attack, India has its task cut out. But irrespective of how the team performs, the tournament is bound to be a viewership magnet.

 

Cricket in Australia always makes for good television. And while the match timings (afternoons) may not be primetime friendly in India, three key India matches are scheduled for Sundays. And being in the middle of Diwali holidays helps, both from viewership and ad revenue perspectives.

 

Within days of the Cricket World Cup ending starts the FIFA World Cup, being held in Qatar from November 20. Usually a summer event, the World Cup is being held in winters, to avoid the high summer temperatures the host nation witnesses. While the audience is understandably smaller than cricket in India, it’s the first Football World Cup in a long time where the match timings are India-friendly.

 

And then, there’s the anticipated big-ticket political event, elections to the Gujarat state legislature. While the dates are not out, December is touted to be month. Gujarat elections always hold special interest, because it’s the state from which Prime Minister Modi hails. While a BJP win in these elections will not surprise anyone, the build-up and the campaigning are likely to gets news media all charged up. The Aam Aadmi Party has also thrown its hat in the ring, and a struggling Congress will be hoping that these elections provide some face-saving value to them, after a spate of embarrassing defeats in recent times.

 

Between sports and politics, we have a packed 12 weeks, leading up to the end of the year.

 

This column will take a seasonal break and return on November 18, 2022.

 

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