SET MAX is warming up for the live telecast of World Cup 2003. And, according to the recent round of rumours, they are really working hard and smart this time around, as it is a make or break situation for the channel.
Though the channel refused to divulge any important details about the programming changes it is contemplating vis-à-vis the programming for ICC Champions Trophy. Reason: It is too early in the day to talk about it, however, they do admit that canvas will be much larger this time. Rajat Jain, Vice President, SET MAX remarks, "The Cricket World Cup is the biggest thing in the world of Cricket for the next four years.
Hence, the programming too will be much bigger in scale and programming values. We have learnt a lot from our experience in The ICC Champions Trophy -- we did set viewership records there, but we also learnt several valuable lessons on production, coordination, and on sport programming creative too. We're going to be very families-oriented, and the scale will be huge. "
The channel is still brain storming and internally discussing various programming formats for the mega event. Jain declares, "We haven't finalized the plan yet on talent. We've collated all the feedback and now we're set to meet on planning for and firming up the road ahead. That'll be sometime mid-to-end November, and only thereafter will I be able to share any plans." He also refused to comment if there would be Hindi commentary also this time around, however he did indicate that there might be more cricketers on the show. He stated, "A larger scale would logically entail more cricketers too? However, we've still got to consider such issues internally, and only then will I be able to say anything".
But will the channel manage to rope in enough advertisers and sponsors to cover its costs and make a decent profit? A recent study by TAM indicates that on-ground sponsors nearly get as much OTS as the TV sponsors. Will it not have a negative impact on the television sponsorship deals? "Not at all. Advertising on Cricket is far more than just getting your brand name seen on occasion when the ball is hit to it. Brand details, new launches, comparisons, the wit and humour of a brand, the whole personality of and the effect a brand has on its consumers... and many more such aspects, can only be exploited with proper on-air advertising during Cricket. That's why every media expert agrees that today, Cricket is the biggest -- and only -- national passion that national brands need. In a live telecast of a cricket match the opportunities are enormous and reach (especially for cricket) is tremendous".