Even as the ICC Champions Trophy is embroiled in a major controversy, Sony Entertainment Television has finalised production plans for the telecast of the matches.
In an unprecedented step aimed at broadbasing the cricket audience, Sony will use characters from the movie Lagaan to give the game a tongue-in-cheek flavour. “We are extending the personality of Lagaan and fusing entertainment with cricket. The aim is to capture a larger segment of the audience,” said Mr Rajat Jain, executive vice president and business head, MAX.
SET India has appointed TWI, the television division of IMG, as the customisation production house. Peter Dempsi from WorldTel, will be a consultant for SET India and head the sports production. Dempsi will supervise the entire operations and coordinate with TWI. TWI is also working with MAX for the production of Cricket Masala, a cricket-centric weekly programme that is being hosted by Ruby Bhatia.
Sony will have an exclusive set of commentators. The lineup is Sanjay Manjrekar, Robin Singh, Tony Greig, Barry Richards, Ian Bishop and Roshan Mahanama. The company is in talks with former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga to act as an expert commentator.
MAX plans to extend the viewing time from 8 hours of live match telecast to 11 hours of sports entertainment. The channel will start programming two hours before the match and extend it to one hour beyond.
An animated character will also be introduced to get the kids interested in the competition. For the customised production, MAX will use five cameras.