Though India has produced quite a few world class sportspersons, Indians have always been passionate about sports and sports is increasingly shaping new forms of entertainment content. One cannot also deny the fact that niche channels on sports are drawing more eyeballs than tear-jerker soaps.
The session on `Sports as a Genre of Entertainment’ provided a perfect platform for the industry experts to discuss at length pros and cons of sports as a genre of entertainment and its scope in the Indian context.
Moderated by Akash Khurana, CEO, Nimbus Communications, the session had an eminent panel of speakers who included Pratap Bose, CEO, O& M; Milan Luthria, Director, Hatrick; and Anibran Das Blah, Co-founder and Vice-President, Globosports.
Pratap Bose, CEO, O& M said, “sports is still enjoyed in its pristine form and any attempts to over commercialise it reduces its importance and makes it a circus and not a game anymore’’. India, Bose said, still remains a nation of spectators who want to watch rather than participate and added just like we like to see varied forms of entertainment we need to have a larger appetite for other forms of sports too. ``Just like cricket reinvented itself from five-day event to one-day and not 20-20 format, the other sports must be innovated to keep the audience coming,’’ he said.
Bose wrapped up his speech by saying, ``If we move sports from being a mere spectator event to a participatory and interactive genre, we would be providing a meaningful entertainment to GenN’’.
Expressing concern over the way Indians go gaga over cricket, Anibran Das, Blah, co-founder and vice-president, Globosport said other form of sports should also be given equal importance as cricket’’. He added that movies on sports like Lagaan, Iqbal etc have got the box office jingling and caught the attention of both the audience and the media buyers, he said. He also said that India should learn to look at the opportunities available beyond cricket. He attributed cricket becoming India’s popular game to world class entertainment close to home, emergence of sports icons, saturation in media coverage, emergence of multiple heroes and evolving eco-system.