ESPN-Star Sports' 'Super Selector' ready and web enabled

Star host Naseeruddin Shah couldn't make it but there were two legends from the cricket world - Sunil Gavaskar and Geoffrey Boycott - on hand to cover for him as ESPN-Star Sports yesterday announced the launch of its new interactive show "Super Selector." The first of the series - a preview show - airs today at 8:30 PM Shah will be hosting two Super Selector shows a month - a preview and a review show. The preview show will discuss the possibilities for the next month while the review show will feature the analysis of the players' performances around the world.


"Super Selector" will be the first simulcast feature programme on ESPN and STAR Sports and will be a complete integrated, interactive and innovative cricket game show which provides an opportunity for viewers to demonstrate knowledge of the game.


While cricket experts nominate their own teams, all the participants will actually get to play this game against the best of talent in the world of international cricket. Interactivity is what it is all about. While participation in the contest is via the ESS website, in what is billed as an attempt to reach out to a wider audience entries can also be sent in through offline publications. The weekly magazine "India Today" has been roped in as the national partner while Mumbai's Mid-Day afternoon, the Hindustan Times in New Delhi and the Gujarat Samachar in Ahmedabad are the newspapers with which tie-ups have been done. Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN Software India Ltd., said talks were on with other publications as well to broadbase the show as much as possible.


What exactly it is the newspaper inserts are supposed to achieve is a bit hazy though. As per the game rules one can send in his / her team choice on the prescribed forms (a team will be have five batsmen, four bowlers, one wicket keeper and one all-rounder) to reach ESPN by midnight of the last day of each month. And one is allowed to substitute three team members before the 21st of each month. Only problem is that all substitutions have to be made through the website. So we are back to the web as the only medium through which it is practical to participate in this programme.


As for what is being done on the tube, other than the preview and review shows, to keep interest kicking, there will be 24 new insterstitials per week carrying information bytes of a minute to a minute and a half duration which will give constant updates on how various teams are faring.


Queried on whether there were any similar shows abroad Boycott said that the UK there was a popular selector series called Fantasy Cricket organised by one of the newspaper chains which had also developed a Fantasy Soccer franchise.


As for the logo, which on first look gives a feel of astrological illustrations (after all the show is all about predictions - even if only about a cricket team), it has been designed by the ESPN team in Singapore.

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