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ESPN hopes to hook viewers with special programmes during ICC World Cup

16-March-2007
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ESPN hopes to hook viewers with special programmes during ICC World Cup

With only Sony Entertainment Television and Doordarshan broadcasting the ongoing ICC World Cup, ESPN has lined up three shows that will be aired during the tournament. The channel is banking on the reputation and credibility of ex-cricketers to increase the viewership of the channel during the tournament.

‘A Few Good Men’ is a show that analyses the chances of the different teams to win matches and their performances prior, during and post the matches. The show was launched prior to the commencement of the tournament in order to build up the World Cup fever.

RC Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, said, “We plan to make sure that every cricket fanatic in India gets his daily dose of World Cup on ESPN. The games at the World Cup will be concluding in the early hours of the morning India time. So, other than matches involving India, people are not likely to have stayed up and watched the game. Our expert panel comprising some of the greats from the world of cricket will provide audiences with all the views, analyses and reports for all those matches.”

On air since March 5, the ‘Shaz and Waz Preview Show’ explores the chances of the top eight teams and their 15-member squads. The half-hour show hosted by former Indian captain Ravi Shastri and former Pakistani fast bowler and captain Wasim Akram, is being aired daily at 11 pm. The show will not only be analysing the key players that will make the difference this World Cup, but will also be speaking to some of the greats from each country on their team’s chances this year.

To serve its viewers a daily dose of happenings at the World Cup, ESPN will air the breakfast show ‘Taking Guard’ that will keep cricket fans updated with the latest. The show has been on air from March 12 every morning and will continue throughout the duration of the tournament. It will include a match review from the previous night’s match and a preview for the next evening match for all 51 matches that will be played.

This show will hosted by Alan Wilkins and later by Harsha Bhogle and will comprise a celebrated panel of ex-cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Wasim Akram and Pat Symcox.

The daily news show ‘Sportcenter’ will also be donning a new look and feel during the World Cup. To be aired twice in Hindi every day during the tournament, with the theme ‘Mission World Cup’, the show will primarily focus on World Cup-centric content. Apart from giving regular updates of the scores and on going match reports, Sportscenter will have some special segments during the World Cup to enhance its coverage of the biggest cricketing tournament. These would include ‘Dressing Room’ for an insider’s view on team strategies and planning; ‘Player Interviews’; ‘Expert Ki Advice’ from Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Wasim Akram; ‘Cricket Katha’; ‘Reporter’s Dairy’, which is a daily report that will provide interesting information on players, off-field activities, colours, cities and venues of the World Cup; and ‘World Cup Trivia’.

That’s a lot cricket even without being able to telecast matches!

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