Max's latest initiative walks down WC memory lane

MUMBAI: It is not merely a story but an epic saga! This is the tagline that MAX is using for its latest programme initiative. This will see the channel take viewers through India's path to the World Cup Final in South Africa. The 13 episode India's Road To The Finals will air from 27 September to 2 November every Saturday and Sunday at 5 pm for around three and a half hours.


However this is not simply a cut paste job. Max will get the viewpoints of players like Rahul Dravid,Yuvraj Singh on the emotions that the players went through from fans reacting violently when India lost to Australia in the group stage to the triumph of defeating Pakistan. A unique story thus emerges about a team that came through at a time of adversity. As was the case with the World Cup Charu Sharma and Mandira Bedi will host this programme initiative. Infact shooting concluded around three to four days ago.

Max got great ratings for the March tournament not just for India but also for the non India matches and is no doubt hoping for an encore what with India's international cricket calendar about to start with the hometri series featuring us, Australia and New Zealand. At a media briefing this evening SET CEO Kunal Dasgupta said, " After the World Cup got over we noticed that VCDs of the India Pakistan match were selling like hot cakes. So we came upon the idea to show the matches.

"However a simple edited recall of what happened would not have made sense. Therefore we shot in Bangalore in order to get the viewpoint of those involved in the action. Also given the insecure environment on account of the recent blasts cricket is the one thing that gives us a feeling of security.

"While the World Cup was a major event interest in the channel has remained steady even after the tournament got over. For the past three weeks we have been the number one Hindi movie channel in the country. The reason for this is the way we have been able to package ourselves through the emotional platform Deewana Bana De.

"When we launched four years ago people had misgivings. However we stuck to our task which was to satisfy the two major passions of people which are cricket and movies. When you add to this events like the Rollingstones concert, IIFA it is not hard to see why MAX became the channel of choice."

The programme initiative will be supported by a campaign spanning radio, internet, television, print and outdoors. This will kick off tomorrow. As a promotional initiative Max brought down Yuvraj Singh for the media briefing. He admitted that while thefinal was something he would like to forget in a hurry. While that was a case of so near and yet so far there were plenty of positives that had come out. "The shoot was funny. There was serious talk mixed with a sense of humour like a Navjot Singh Siddhu and Sachin Tendulkar look alikes making an appearance. When I speak in front of the camera my main aim is to make a valid point.

"We have nothing against the criticism that cricket commentators and other experts of the game level at us per se. It is the way in which the remarks are made that upsets us at times." One his goals is playing test cricket for India. "While one day cricket is growing in popularity it is test matches that make a cricket player complete. This is something only the players appreciate and not necessarily the crowd that wants to see action all the time." He added that he has no plans to do any films or television series unlike Ajay Jadeja and Kapil Dev. 

Charu Sharma said that it was refreshing to get the

viewpoints of different experts of the game during the World Cup coverage. "Very often you get the same three people sitting together making silly jokes which after a point gets tedious."

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