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Hindi news channels all set to unleash war for Cricket World Cup eyeballs

Hindi news channels all set to unleash war for Cricket World Cup eyeballs

Author | Supriya Thanawala & Sumita Patra | Monday, Mar 12,2007 9:58 AM

Hindi news channels all set to unleash war for Cricket World Cup eyeballs

Along with English news channels, Hindi news channels, too, are gearing up for the Cricket World Cup. From celebrities to experts, these channels are going the whole hog to keep viewers glued to their television screens. exchange4media takes a look at what to expect from these channels.

Zee News has branded its World Cup programming as ‘Cricket Vishva Yudh 2007’. Harish Doraiswamy, CEO, Zee News Ltd., said, “The Cricket World Cup would arguably be the biggest news event in India for the next 45-odd days. Keeping this in mind, we have lined up extensive cricket programming involving four former World Cup stars.”

‘Cricket Vishva Yudh 2007’ showcases various segments like a weekly show ‘Elan-e-Jung’ that provides a soft focus in a travelogue format. There is a daily show, ‘Maidan-e-Jung’, that profiles prominent players in this World Cup. ‘Match Ka Maharaj’ would pick the ‘Player of Match’ (India matches only) while ‘Kamzor Kadi Kaun’ would identify the cricketer who flopped (India matches only).

For match analyses, the channel has roped in four well-known cricketers of the past -- Maninder Singh, Nikhil Chopra, Vinod Kambli and Pakistan’s Zaheer Abbas.

India TV has also lined up an interesting fare. Sharing details about its World Cup programmes, India TV CEO, Chintamani Rao, informed that Ashish Shukla, the channel’s Cricket Editor, would do the programme ‘Ashish’s Mission World Cup’, that would capture the riot of emotion and colour and weave it with Breaking News stories and interviews. To assuage viewer queries, a top cricket astrologer will counsel viewers in ‘Cricket Ki Kismat’. Ace comedian Dharsi Baredia will give his amazing take in ‘Silly Point’.

Said Rao, “We will be offering unmatched information, interactivity and insight. Befitting the tremendous mood of anticipation among millions of TV-viewing homes, our cricket content will be a feast for the entire family. Besides the above-mentioned programmes, ‘India Bole’, our highly successful interactive show, will have cricket specials. Backing this minute-by-minute excitement, India TV will unleash a slew of innovations, graphics, bugs and on-air branding options so as to maximise value for our valued advertisers.”

STAR News will keep viewers informed and updated about all the happenings through an umbrella programming initiative called ‘Cup Tak’. Mohinder Amarnath, Sandeep Patil, Saba Karim, Atul Wasan, Nikita Anand, Cyrus Sahukar and Suresh Menon will contemplate, share laughter as well as analyse the entire cricket series.

Sandeep Patil, Mohinder Amarnath, Atul Wasan and Saba Karim will provide analysis and coaching tips on ‘Cup Tak’ and ‘Wah Cricket!’. Miss India 2003, Nikita Anand, will anchor a daily half-hour programme called ‘Lage Raho India’, which aims to motivate the Indian team and provide cricket fans a platform to advise and comment on their favourites.

“We are planning to get Cyrus Sahukar to anchor a special programme called ‘Tata Indicom Crazy Kiya Re’, which will profile various players with Page 3 celebrities to form the world’s sexiest team and choose the world’s hottest cricketer,” said an official from the channel.

DD News will also be giving extensive coverage on the ‘Cricket World Cup 2007’. The channel has been airing a special programme called ‘Mission World Cup’ from February 26, which will continue till April 29. The programme will feature cricket experts and guests from the cricket fraternity like Chetan Sharma, Surinder Khanna and Rajinder Amarnath. DD News is also running a Mission World Cup Anthem in the run up to the event.

Aaj Tak’s World Cup coverage will unfold in phases. The pre-World Cup phase will have special shows profiling cricketers and their preparation for cricket’s biggest tournament. One of the initiatives includes letting viewers predict the final 15-member squad of the Indian team. There will also be a number of prominent former cricketers who will come to the studio for World Cup programming – Kapil Dev, Syed Kirmani, Madan Lal and Arun Lal.

“From a viewership perspective, cricket is definitely a driver. The strategy is to mount special wrap around programming before and after the matches for the World Cup since the matches will continue till very late at night. The news channels will be a preferred destination to get a quick update in the morning,” said an official from Aaj Tak.

IBN 7, on the other hand, has planned a World Cup Countdown. The half-hour special will be hosted by Yashpal Sharma and aired in the days preceding the World Cup from March 5 to 12 at 8:30 pm. Join Sharma as he follows news of the Indian team from the West Indies and focuses on golden moments from the past World Cup matches, including interviews with other cricket experts.

‘Kaun Banega Champion’ is another show on IBN 7 with Yashpal Sharma as host. There will be a one-hour preview before each match, followed by a review show in the morning after the match. It will also involve Sharma deliberating and discussing the prospects of the Indian team, player expectations, etc., as well as a half-hour innings break from 11:30 pm on the days India is playing.

“By calling in ex-cricketers as our studio experts, IBN 7 is adding credibility to its special analytical programming devised around the World Cup,” said Ashutosh, Managing Editor of IBN 7.

NDTV India will be hosting various shows revolving around the theme of the World Cup as well, which will include ‘Pitch Report’, ‘Googly’, ‘Junoon’, ‘Khel India’, ‘Taiyyar Hai Dhoni’, ‘Kissa Cricket Ka – Calypso Masala’, until the end of April.

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