Not just the matches but even ‘extraaa innings’ will be telecast in HD. To add to the entertainment quotient there will be a live band accompanying the professional Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, besides standup comedians during matches
Surbhi Chawla | Delhi | March 28, 2012
As India gets ready to see another power-packed season of DLF Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2012, its official broadcaster Max is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that it is grander and more entertainment packed than the previous seasons. For starters, the 2012 edition of ‘extraaa innings T20’ will feature the ‘Fiery 4’ anchors Samir Kochhar, Gaurav Kapur, Shibani Dandekar and Archana Vijaya. Along with them will be a team of expert panelists comprising of Ajay Jadeja, Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjarekar and Navjot Singh Siddhu. The line-up would also have experts like Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri.
Navjot Singh Siddhu, commenting on this year’s IPL package in his typical witty manner, said, “This year, IPL will be even bigger than Vidya Balan in terms of entertainment. IPL has always tried to reinvent and IPL ‘extraaa innings’ always brings new things that are well garnished on the table and this season too, one can expect to see the same. Overall, there will be a lot of new things in the body of the show while its soul will remain the same.”
One of the highlights of this season’s of ‘extraaa innings T20’ will be the set which, according to Max, is the biggest and grandest ever in the history of live cricket television across the world. The set will resemble a majestic coliseum-like structure symbolising the grandeur of IPL. To add to the entertainment quotient there will be a live band, accompanied by the professional ‘Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders’ from the National Football League, USA. Another interesting addition will be the standup comedy acts and gags at regular intervals to attract more viewers.
Commenting on the upcoming season of DLF IPL 2012, Neeraj Vyas, EVP & Business Head, Max, said, “DLF IPL has consistently proved to be the largest spectacle on Indian television. Cricket being a national obsession, we hope to deliver the best of entertainment to the millions of cricket lovers in the country. We look forward to yet another fantastic edition of the DLF IPL on Max this year.”
Commenting on the upcoming season of ‘extraaa innings T20’, Jasdeep Singh Pannu, Senior VP – Programming, Max, said, “At Max, it has been our endeavour to introduce new programming innovations to bring cricket fans an enriched experience with ‘extraaa innings’ every year. The grand sets, new panelists, professional cheerleaders, a live band and all of this on HD quality is sure to keep cricket fans glued to their seats. In every way ‘extraaa innings T20’ will be bigger and better than ever before.”
Though Max broadcast the IPL matches even last year in HD, the same was not true for its ‘extraaa innings T20’ show, which will be a change that is being introduced this year. A new channel will be launched for this purpose and the details for that are being worked out with the leading DTH providers. However, this channel will be taken off air once IPL is over.
As a Hindi movie channel, Max will be launching a new HD channel in about six months’ time. The company also disclosed that there are plans to launch a new sports channel very soon.
Shifting back to IPL 2012, Pannu said that IPL 5 will also see a lot of Bollywood movies being promoted during the tournament. However, the channel is very clear that even in such promotions, synergies with IPL will be paramount and the idea is to provide wholesome entertainment.
In comparison with other sports channels, Max invests heavily in terms of packaging of IPL. Though Pannu refused to divulge figures, he said, “We spend more on programming and packaging than sports channels because we want to give our viewers nothing but the best and we do not want to compromise. Most sports channels are very habitual in nature and do not want to experiment, and that according to me amounts to disrespecting the viewers. Our DNA is general entertainment and we respect the choice of our viewers. We understand what they want, they need some ‘masala’ and, if you look at our ratings, you will agree that our efforts pay off.”
Talking about expectations in terms of revenues and TRPs, Vyas said, “We have already sold 70 per cent of our inventory and there is a good build-up to the event. We are looking forward to a great season of IPL.”