Television

MAX signs on Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly?

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MUMBAI: Is it a game of "me too" going on in sports broadcasting land? First was cricket "World Cup Network" SET MAX's announcement that it had signed on cricket legend Kapil Dev as its brand ambassador. Going one better, ESPN Star Sports announced cricket demi-god Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. The latest, according to reliable industry sources, is that MAX has signed on India's cricket captain and the "prince of Kolkata" Saurav Ganguly to represent the channel.

When contacted for a response to reports that Saurav had entered into an association with Sony, Rajat Jain, executive V-P & business head, MAX, while not denying the news outright, said: "I have no knowledge at the moment as to the veracity of this information."

It is not clear yet in what capacity Saurav could represent MAX as it already has a brand ambassador in Kapil. Still, it could well be that Kapil, a World Cup winning captain and Saurav, the man who the whole country must be praying will hold aloft the coveted trophy in South Africa, next year, will be used to reinforce the message of Sony as the World Cup Network.

Kapil's signing has proved a bulls eye hit for Sony, especially as soon after the deal was done, he was declared Wisden's Indian Cricketer of the Century, pipping both Sachin and batting maestro Sunil Gavaskar in the race for honours. If Saurav is indeed coming aboard, Sony would certainly be hoping the Indian captain leads from the front and inspires his young turks to perform on the field like they did in the recent Natwest Finals at Lords. There is nothing that will jack up viewership and bring ad money rolling in like a winning performance from the Indian cricket team.

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