With more teams and a longer season, there is no doubt there are more eyes on Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi than ever before. The all-action format of the sport has captured the imagination of the audience, who tune in religiously in the evening to watch their favourite stars on television. With that in mind prokabaddi.com went behind the scenes to grab an account from those individuals who work tirelessly to bring the action to your living room. In an interview, here’s what Girish Pandey, senior broadcast manager, had to say about the challenges associated with covering the game.
How has the experience been so far in this season?
The experience so far has been good. This season is far bigger than the previous season and the intensity has also increased. Till now it has been very good.
Viewership has been high this season, so how does it feel from the broadcast point of view?
It feels very nice that this game has touched a new height and it has surpassed the primary sport in the country that is cricket. So it feels really nice to be associated with this game.
What is the biggest challenge your team faces in coverage?
The primary challenge is to cover the touches so that the referees and the TV referee can make the right decision. It’s quite challenging that we have to cover all the possible angles in such a fast game.
Do you think that the cameramen and the broadcast team at large must have a certain level of fitness?
I think rather than fitness it’s the hand-eye co-ordination because it is a fast-paced game and we need to anticipate a defender or a raider’s moves quickly. So it is hand-eye co-ordination and the knowledge of the game more than anything else. Fitness is also there.
What do you think is the major difference between kabaddi and other sports?
It’s the most action-packed game in broadcast which gets over in 40 minutes. I think the entire game is action-packed, not even a single second is without action. That’s the USP of this game.
What is the routine for a cameraman on matchdays?
We come early and check our equipment so we do not face any problems at the time of covering the match. We do our checks and circulate the things which we need to do. We do some rehearsals so it can look good in the lights.
What is more challenging, shooting the raiders or the defenders or it’s the same for both?
I think it’s shooting the raider because sometimes they use their legs like Anup Kumar, and simultaneously he can use the hand also. So it’s very tough to anticipate which move he will make to get the points. So it is tougher than shooting the defenders.
It is a long season, so how difficult is it for you guys to sustain?
Yes it’s a long season. We need to keep our tempo high so that no fatigue can creep in. So we keep on chatting and motivating each other. So we can deliver our best every day.
Given a chance would you like to change your profession and play kabaddi?
No, I am very happy behind the camera and I don’t want to go and play.