Growing Trend of TVs in Bars
As little as five years ago, if you went to a bar or pubs in any of India?s cosmopolitan cities, you were going for the drink or for the company. These days, you?re more likely to be going because you?re a huge Messi fan. The screening of sports in these places is a trend that is fast catching on, and in the wake of the recent frenzy about the football World Cup, it?s a trend that seems poised to explode. In countries like the U.S. and U.K., pubs have long been associated with sports at the professional and college levels. Dedicated sports bars decked out in team colours proclaim their allegiance, drawing rabid supporters dressed in team jerseys with war in their hearts (and woe betide any supporters of the opposing team who have chosen the wrong bar to drink in that night). Anything could happen on a game night: tears, exultant celebration, or even a fight. People catching a tennis match at Arbor Brewing Company in Bangalore In India, the last few years have seen pubs and bars striving to outdo each other with the size and quality of their flatscreen TVs, the number of different sports they screen on a given night, the passion of their patrons. Sports bars, like Xtreme Sports Bar on Bangalore?s 100 Feet Road, have also cropped up by the dozens. Another Bangalore joint, Arbor Brewing Company, follows a slightly different model. Based more on the U.S. notion of a bar dedicated to a team, it bears the pennants and colours of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where the owner studied. While American football and basketball (sports for which Michigan is well-known) are not popular in India, Arbor has branched out to include all sports?they screen everything from the UEFA League to the T20 World Cup. The idea of televisions in pubs might be abhorrent to some purists, who simply want a quiet place and a peaceful drink, but to people who want to catch a game on a good-quality screen with friends and fellow-fans, with easy access to food and drink, it is a match-winning idea.