Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TV channels to ride on IPL fever

Not wanting to be left out during the cricket crazy weeks ahead, TV channels are gearing up to dish out special programmes to keep viewer's interested during IPL 3.

This time around, for the third season of IPL which will be played from March 12 to 25, channels are set to pull together eyeballs in their favour by cashing on the IPL fever and lending a complementary hand to it.

As part of its offering, English movie channel HBO will have a 'Hollywood Premier League' showcasing a range of blockbuster films during the IPL season.

It has incorporated various cricketing elements like 'HPL Scoreboard' and movie trivia in the form of 'HPL Googly'.

"It is the time of IPL and everybody is geared up for it. We want to be with it's spirit as it would be foolish to compete with it. So, we came up with 'Hollywood Premier League' and the movies will be showcased after the matches get over," Shruti Bajpai, Country Manager, HBO Asia told PTI.

Entertainment channels who suffer the most with IPL taking away their share on prime-time slot viewership too are looking to ride on the IPL wave this year.

"'IPL Rockstar' not only promises to raise the bar in the mere conception of live entertainment for television, but also embark the first ever alliance between mainstream television programming and international sporting events," said Programming Head of COLORS, Ashvini Yardi.

The show to be judged by Sukhwinder Singh and Kailash Kher and hosted by rapper Hard Kaur will also see IPL franchisee owners Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty gracing the jury panel to attract viewers.

"It is going to move from the studio to the cricketing grounds in midst of real action. The audience will witness a unique marriage of our nation's biggest passions, cricket and music with this differentiated programming initiative," Yardi added.

But not everybody is weaving threads around IPL to raise TRP's.

"We are not doing anything around IPL as it does not affects general entertainment channels. It's just 5-7 percent on certain slots and 15 to 20 percent on other slots," said Shailja Kejrival, Executive Vice President (Content) of Imagine.

Kejrival feels that despite a large chunk of audience tilting in favour of IPL there is a good amount of loyal viewers.

"There is a huge audience that still remains with us. We will try to make our existing content more interesting," she added.

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