AIR makes the most of Cup, least of commentary
In fact, the rate per second on air for the semi-finals and finals was a whopping R50,000 per second, she adds. However, while Kaur takes heart from the figures as proof that radio commentary is “still so popular” in India, there is no denying the fact that a medium once seen as an important reason for the massive popularity of cricket in India is slowly dying out.
With a penetration of 98% India, cricket commentary on radio, since the first live cricket broadcast was put out in the 1940s, is the bedrock on which the popularity of the game in India rests. TV viewing may be the norm in cities, but radio professionals point out that “between 60-70% of people outside big towns still rely on radio”.
Apart from its widespread availability and affordability, among the advantages radio enjoys is mobility and lack of dependence on power supply.
However, even the dedicated fans do not contest the falling standard of AIR radio commentaries — the only radio channel that does running commentaries in the country. One reason is that most of them holding the job do it only part-time. Fans like Rehan Fazal of BBC Radio celebrate “the exceptions like Harsha Bhogle, who fought their way up and are products of
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