With the 'Battle of the Willows' set to begin in the Caribbean shortly, television channels are working overtime to present their own views, news, comments and footage of the game. exchange4media takes a look at how new channels like CNN-IBN, Times Now and NDTV plans to highlight mega sports event.
CNN-IBN has kicked off its programming with some cricket-themed shows. 'Love of Champions', which was aired on March 2, was an hourly special where Krish Srikkanth, Yashpal Sharma, Mohinder Amranath, Kirti Azad, Sunil Valson and Syed Kirmani took a trip down memory lane through the 1983 World Cup.
Amidst a live audience, six cricketers reminisced and re-lived the glorious moments when India proudly held the World Cup trophy after beating the West Indies.
"India's triumph at the 1983 World Cup will probably never fade from our memories. It is has been the dream of every Indian to see that repeated. This year will be no exception. 'Love of Champions' is just the beginning of our elaborate and exciting line-up for the World Cup, which I am sure our viewers will enjoy thoroughly," said Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, CNN-IBN and IBN 7.
NDTV plans to cover the World Cup with some of the biggest names from the world of cricket such as M S Dhoni, Ajay Jadeja, Imran Khan, Dean Jones, Barry Richards, and also host specials with Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
Programmes like 'Opening Spell', 'Turning Point', 'Googly', 'Pitch Report', and 'Junoon' will have extensive analysis before and after the match on the days of the World Cup matches. In addition to this coverage of World Cup matches, NDTV will also offer viewers a build up to the World Cup, which will include World Cup Special episodes of 'India Questions' on NDTV 24X7 and 'India Kare Sawaal' on NDTV India through interviews with Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
"Viewers will be treated to a World Cup extravaganza with short programmes like 'Mantra of Cricket', 'Head to Head', 'Hain Tayyar Hum', 'Team Ke Saath' and many more action-packed programmes. We also have a programme titled 'Caribbean Calling', which will be like a postcard from the West Indies on soft features related to the venue of the World Cup," said Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media Ltd.
Times Now, too, has geared up for World Cup coverage. Although programming details have not been officially decided upon, Sunil Lulla, CEO, Times Global Broadcasting, said that he felt cricket was certainly an important aspect of the news genre and Times Now would give it the due coverage it deserved.
"We have always had sports programming right through the week. Certainly the World Cup Cricket has significance, and we will have programming from West Indies and India and report on all the matches; keeping viewers informed of the game sentiment across the two countries," he added.
In the past week, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Kumar Sangakkara, and Monty Panesar along with Sanjay Manjrekar, Charu Sharma and Kiran More have all been part of the pre-World cup programmes on Times Now.
"We believe sport is about sporting action. The presentation and the big stories will be live, refreshed and updated right through the World Cup," Lulla added.