King size cricket action comes at a price

Hefty charges

They had planned to watch magnified action on giant screens of Wednesday’s cricket World Cup semi-finals between India and Pakistan.

One other factor that will make it difficult to watch the match in king size is the apprehension of law and order problems arising out of screening high voltage matches for a mass audience.

Very few hotels and pubs will be beaming the game on the big screen as cable operators are charging a hefty sum per match.

“Every time India played a major game, our hotel chain used to bring it on the big screen. But this year, due to the steep hike in charges, our hotels have no such plans,” said a Taj Vivanta employee. The Cable Operators Association said the amount goes to the channel which provides the feed to beam it on the big screen.

“The charges are usually hiked during the big games. The charges are out of reach this time for most hotels or associations which want to play them on the big screen,” said a cable operator from Koramangala.

According to the Association spokesperson, till now there has been no demand at all for relaying the semi-final on the big screen.

The Bangalore Police too said there had been no such demand as of now for putting up big screens in public places to beam the matches.

“We have not received any request for permission for the big screens to be put up in public places,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Suneel Kumar.

“We tried placing a big screen last year for the football World Cup finals in my ward. But due to the anticipation of law and order problem, we had to cancel it. The police too did not give the permission,” said Shivakumar, Shantalanagar Corporator.

But at least one Corporator appears undeterred by the hefty sums to be paid and the apprehensions of law and order problem. DJ Halli corporator, Sampath Raj, said they were planning to beam the Indo-Pak match on four big screens in his ward.

“We have already identified four places for putting up the large screens for the people to view the game. On Monday, there will be a discussion with the Bangalore Police on providing security at these spots,” said Sampath Raj. The four places identified by him are the DJ Halli Football Ground, Modi main road, Doddanagar and Bangaragirinagar.
The rest though, will have to be content watching the titans clash on the small screens in the comfort of their homes.

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