I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

World Cup Fudgeball

The world's biggest carnival's here and we can look forward to a lot of misquotes, googled news, articles stolen without attribution, misprints and bloopers in the Indian newspapers.

While the media circus doesn't stop for even a minute through the year, this World Cup will probably see it hit new lows.

"If you are shocked by the nose-dive the Sensex has taken, you haven't seen anything yet", said an insider, on the condition of anonymity. This is confirmed by a friend of a famous editor who reports that the editor has been seen scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Take this instance, for example - Sepp Blatter, in a promotional campaign for ESPN Star Sports said that in South Asia, India is a key market as regards fan following. "I am pleasantly surprised with the great interest in soccer in a cricket crazy nation like India," were the exact words. Fortunately, the creative team was able to misrepresent this and turn a boring cliche into an astonishing headline - "India biggest viewers of the Fifa World Cup"Such opportunities however are few and far between. Mostly, the newspapers have to just make up facts without any cliche to support them. "What gives most thrill is being able to conjure up numbers out of a hat rather than misrepresent someone's statements. The freedom we get is similar to what Ronaldinho will get in the 4-4-2 scheme."

"I got immense thrill when I calculated on the back of Delhi Times, the viewership of the Football World Cup. It came to 30 billion by my estimate. It made the front page of the newspapers"When being told that that's five times the world's population, the reporter slinked away, hand in hand, with a handsome upcoming football. Friends say that a relationship is brewing and that the back of the Delhi Times was actually a page of Khaleej Times.

Watch this space for more. Or not.


Blogger Nirav said...

The artcile says that it does not take into account the viewrship from live streaming on internet and mobile phones. So I guess a more realistic number would be 50 billion... or maybe 500 billion :)

And I wont be surprised if we see a headline soon which says "India helped us win - Henry" and it would be referring to the performance of Vikash Dhorasoo, whose origin can be traced to India if we rewind a few generations, irrespective of the fact that the player wants to have nothing to do with India

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 11:30:00 PM

Anonymous Sakshi said...

And what about us Cricket fans !!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006 1:25:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Nirav, agree with you. Rediff did have this headline sometime back.

Sakshi, don't worry. Coverage of the West Indies tour will be kept equally low-brow.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 2:29:00 AM

Blogger corporate whore said...

If you are a purist then we have a problem, but if you like the rest of the juice that flows (and from your blog its quite evident that you do) its great fun to read stuff like that.

Just to put the figures in perspective all viewership / imprssions are duplicated figures. For ex: HLL ads are watched by 150 billion people in India alone(yes its true)hich could mean every one saw 150 ads or 100 million saw it 1500 ads. Anyone who views for a minute is a viewer, so if you take a loo break afrer a minute, change channels and come back you are counted again. My god, this is what i do for a living!

and cricket fans can double up as football fans a la saurav da.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 3:44:00 AM

Blogger corporate whore said...

is this what you are doing in office time, or are you in some part of the planet where its not office time now?

"Dhoomketu has stopped reading newspapers to make time for his blogging, because of his hectic day job."


Thursday, June 08, 2006 3:57:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Corp Whore, I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to analysing the tabloids!

Plus, as I referred to in an earlier post, I read newspapers only to tear them apart here. Clearly, I need to get a life, but tell me about that later.

Thursday, June 08, 2006 8:31:00 AM


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