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Hindi news channels beef up programming for Cricket World Cup

Hindi news channels beef up programming for Cricket World Cup

Author | Supriya Thanawala | Saturday, Mar 10,2007 8:32 AM

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Hindi news channels beef up programming for Cricket World Cup

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.

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 episode before each match, followed by a review show in the morning following the match. It will also involve Sharma deliberating and discussing the prospects of the Indian national 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.

India TV and Zee News did not respond to queries despite several attempts to contact them.

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