Television

Sony ready to don World Cup Network look

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The World Cup Network (not the Fifa World Cup, please note. We are talking cricket here) is what Sony Entertainment now calls itself.

Post-acquisition of the India cable and satellite cricket telecast rights for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) tournaments until 2007, including the 2003 and 2007 cricket World Cups, that is.

Some reflection of that is about to become visible on sister channels SET and MAX within the next ten days or so. The first week of July (1 July is the tentative date) will see the first phase of Sonys efforts to spin off as much as it can out of the expensive property (at a reported $255 million thats some serious money) it has bought for itself, says Rajat Jain, executive V-P, SET MAX.

As Jain puts it, the lead up to the World Cup in March 2003 is being divided essentially into two phases - the first phase will see the rollout of short form programming across the network while the second phase will see long form programmes (mainly half-hour shows). 

The programming, while being cricket oriented, will also have lighter elements to it, Jain says without elaborating. What the viewer will get to see in larger and larger doses in the coming months across the network are programme vignettes covering team, player, country profiles, big rivalries, classic duels, greatest games, etc. For each of these categories, 15 to 20 vignettes are being prepared, Jain said.



The test run as it were for Sonys World Cup plans will be provided by the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, that kicks off 12 September. Also known as the mini-World Cup, the tournament features all the test playing nations and will provide some clues as to how far Sony is successful in broadbasing its cricket tale. 

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