Imagine. As you are cheering for Dhoni’s last-ball six in a Chennai Super Kings versus Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL match from home, you can watch yourself do that on live TV. If the Indian Premier League is going to happen in empty stands due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this is what STAR network is trying to come up with to create a crowd atmosphere in the ground.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Uday Shankar, Chairman of Star and Disney India, said that they are trying to innovate in every possible way to create and enhance the atmosphere in the ground with sound, graphic and audio. However, he is also clear about the fact that sport should resume if and only when it is safe to play.
When asked how are they going to recreate the atmosphere as they might need cameras at every home, “Everyone has a phone and camera. I just need to source them. We’ll have to start thinking differently, it’s a creative challenge,” he said.
Because the Crowd might not be allowed owing to the pandemic, Shankar says all they need to do is capture their emotions from home.“Whenever you’re watching a tense moment at home, do you not have a very intense expression on your face? So, all we need to do is capture it. So, you can be at home but you can also be on television.”
“Had this situation come up 20 years ago when there were no broadband and smartphones, it would be a challenge. Today, it’s happening at a time when we’re ready.”
On players arrival from other countries, Shankar said that a two-week quarantine should be a fair enough option whenever the IPL happening.
“It will be a challenge and we are required to deal with it for the first time. But it will get easier. Look, on Day 1 of the lockdown, even using sanitiser and mask was a big disruption. I heard so many people say that they were not able to breathe properly, now everybody is wearing masks. We will get used to it.”