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I have been watching cricket on tv for years and have occasionally seen the commentary box. Usually, the camera will be behind the commentators and the image will show the commentators watching the match from a small room, and the players will also be visible. There may be a change of commentators (somebody moving in and somebody moving out) and even then, we could see the field. More-over, commentators will be talking about events which are not visible to tv viewers, meaning it is happening outside the range of the camera.
This type of video "proves" that the commentators are in the commentary box.
Here are 2 views of general "proper" commentary boxes:
Commentary Box 1
Commentary Box 2
Surely, these commentators are in the stadium.

Now-a-days (atleast in T20 WC matches or IPL Matches) I feel that the commentators are not in the box, but are watching a broadcast stream in some studio.
Here are 2 views of "suspicious" commentary boxes:
Commentary Box 3
Commentary Box 4
It is not really clear if they are in the stadium or in a small studio, pretending to be watching the match live at the stadium.
The last picture is especially suspicious, because it looks like the camera will be blocking the view of the match.

My Doubt is based on 2 main points:
(1) The commentators (and the change of commentators) will always shown from the front, and there will never be a view of the commentators with the field or players in view.
(2) The commentators seem to say exactly what is shown on the screen and seem to be clueless of the ground situation.
Eg 2A : On the tv, a ball going towards the boundary may look like it will cross it, while the commentators should be able to see a fielder running towards it. I have seen cases where the commentator was saying something like "going to be a four [that is what we can see] ... no, a fielder gets to it at the last moment [that is when the tv shows the fielder]", which I can make out without the redundant commentary.
Eg 2B : A ball hit too high may look like a six on tv, and even the commentator will claim that it is going to be a six, but eventually we see that it has simply gone up and come down on the wicketkeeper, who takes an easy catch.
After noticing this couple of years back, I have been waiting for similar comments in latest matches, but I think they have become clever and do not comment on these things now ; they wait for the tv to show what is happening and then they say what we can already see.

Beyond these two main points, I noticed two other minor points:
(3) I noticed that occasionally there is the light from tv screen on the faces on the commentators.
(4) I also noticed that commentators do not say anything which is not shown on the tv, Eg If umpire has asked for 3RD umpire Decision, but the tv has not shown him asking for it, then commentators too will be talking about other things, like "boy-o-boy, at a time like this, a huge risk in trying to take a single [replay shows umpire asking for 3RD umpire Decision] and what will it be ? Out or not out ?", where basically, they are trying to hide the fact that they are clueless until the tv shows what is happening.

We have English Commentary Broadcast (claimed implicitly to be from stadium) and Hindi Commentary Broadcast (known to be from studio) and both are similar, making me suspect that even the English Broadcast is from the studio.

In recent IPL T20 cricket matches, are the commentators in the stadium or watching a broadcast in some studio ?

I am not claiming that all commentaries are from studio, I am only saying that in some matches (especially T20 IPL) the studio is used, without informing the audience, but then they never explicitly claimed to be in the stadium, so they are not really lying.
It may be that the studio is easier for bringing in Film Stars who do not want to get stuck in the huge crowds or traffic generated by IPL. It may be that commentary boxes are used as VIP seats, and commentators are asked to move out.

((I originally asked this on Skeptics, where it was suggested that I try here, but the wording may still indicate Skepticism))

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2 Answers 2

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The simple answer is - it depends. For a lot of matches, the commentators will be in the ground, but for others they won't be, for a lot of reasons but usually for financial ones - it can make financial sense to have commentators operate off a TV feed rather than send them thousands of miles for what might be a single match.

My experience of cricket broadcasting is European-based, and Sky always appear to have a studio-based analysis team (for intervals) and a ground-based commentary team. The BBC radio coverage is always from the grounds too.

The questions on the standard of commentary are different, and I'm not going to get into that as it's totally opinion-based.

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I am adding the "answer" to help myself track the situations where the commentators "cheated" and tricked the audience to think that the commentary is from the stadium, where-as those commentators were actually miles away. [[ I posted this Question in 2016, hence it was in terms of IPL 2016, but the issue is larger and not restricted to 2016 or to the IPL ]]

14/NOV/2021 : World Cup T20 final between Australia and New Zealand.
I was watching this on "DD SPORTS" Channel in Hindi, which takes the Raw Broadcast Signal from the Original Broadcaster (in Dubai Stadium) and adds the Hindi commentary and other edits and advertisements. So far so good. I noticed several times where the commentators (CM) fumbled, which is somewhat ok, because they are not in the stadium.

Eg 1: In the middle overs, a batsman missed hitting the ball; the next ball, he hit it high and CM said "great shot, super", thinking it was going to be a 6, but the ball came down half-way to the boundary and it was caught "OUT"; Red-faced CM said "Still, better shot compared to previous!"
I am somewhat ok with this because the CM is watching the TV and the commentary is limited to what is shown on the TV.

Eg 2: CM was not able to tell whether the batsmen took 2 runs or just 1, until the Screen Display showed the number. If CM had been in the Commentary Box, in the Stadium, CM would have seen the running.
This is tolerable, but CM is redundant and we might just read out the screen ourselves !

Eg 3: When a batsman missed a ball, CM was saying "good ball, good bowling", because umpire was not shown, but the umpire had signaled a wide !
This is crossing the tolerable limit, because, before the umpire signaled, I too could see that it was a wide, but the expert CM could not. If CM had been in the Commentary Box, in the Stadium, CM would have seen the umpire signalling the wide.

Eg 4: At one Point, CM said the next ball will be exciting and probably a 6. When that did not happen, CM said "If that had been a 6, I would have gone out of the COMMENTARY BOX and hugged the batsman"
This is a blatant lie !!!! CM is neither in the Commentary Box, not in the Stadium, nor in Dubai. This is where the "fraud" is.

Even when the commentators are not in the stadium, they pretend to be there and cheat the audience, implicitly or explicitly.

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  • My Original Question has atleast 8 UPVotes with one Answer Contribution , but that must have been before "my guardian angel who immediately Downvotes my Posts" started following me around to simply Downvote my Posts without feedback or suggestions .... !!
    – Prem
    Nov 14, 2021 at 19:29
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    Honestly, I'm quite close to deleting this as "not an answer" - your question was explicitly about IPL 2016, but this answer has nothing to do with IPL 2016 at all.
    – Philip Kendall
    Nov 15, 2021 at 11:30
  • @PhilipKendall , (1) Your objection is valid & the observation is correct, but (2) Between the third & fourth Pics in my Q, I mentioned "Now-a-days (atleast in T20 WC matches or IPL Matches) I feel that the commentators are not in the box" (3) At the end of my Q, I mentioned "I am only saying that in some matches (especially T20 IPL) the studio is used" (4) The other answer, while not mentioning IPL, talks about Europe & BBC, but is no less valid because of that. (5) The highlight of my answer is the fourth example, where the commentators "explicitly" lie about being at the venue.
    – Prem
    Nov 15, 2021 at 15:30

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