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ESS to introduce Hindi commentary for TNA Wrestling

NEW DELHI: It is like further sexing up wrestling. Call it International Tandaav, Desi Andaaz or Total Non-stop Action (TNA) or whatever, but it’s pure adrenalin pumping stuff. And, that too in Hindi.

Hand it to ESPN Star Sports (ESS) to innovate content to suit the local palate. The first edition of the TNA wrestling accompanied to Hindi programme will be aired on 2 August 2005.

Launching the TNA wrestling initiative in the capital yesterday, ESS India MD RC Venkateish said, "Our acquisition of TNA wrestling has placed us uniquely as the sports channel with the most wholesome programming. In every discipline, be it soccer, cricket, hockey, motorsports we are a clear leader. Wresting was the only genre within sports, which was missing and we have filled that gap completely after acquiring TNA Wrestling. With TNA wrestling in Hindi, we hope to take the game to the masses.''

With an aim to drumming up some excitement amongst the TV viewing public here, Indian-American wrestler Sonjoy Dutt (no relation to film star hunk Sanjay Dutt), Tryton and another wrestler would visit India in September for promotional campaign.

They would travel to Mumbai, Jaipur, Nagour, Ludhinana, Bhopal, Lucknow and Baroda, Venkateish said, adding, ''This is part of our ongoing effort to reach out to the masses and we want to achieve that not only in Hindi but also through other languages as well.”

Joe Baath and Manish Batavia, a find from the Hasha Ki Khoj contest, have been roped in as commentators, Venkateish said. The presence of Sonjay Dutt and commentators Joe and Manish will accelerate TNA’s acceptability, Venkateish pointed out, saying, “We will invest in marketing of TNA to accelerate the process.”

According to young Manish, “I worship television as a medium. I was a bit disappointed when I did not make it in Harsha Ki Khoj but thanks to TNA I have got my chance. I will make the most of it. Along with Big Joe, I have put in lots of labour in upgrading our wrestling knowledge.”

HIGH DECIBEL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

ESS will launch a multi-media, high decibel marketing campaign from 30 July to push localized TNA. The campaign will be built on the unique identity of localised TNA wrestling with the creative theme International Taandav, Desi Andaaz.

Earlier this year, ESS had entered into a three year deal with TNA Entertainment to broadcast all TNA Wrestling programmes on its channels in India and the rest of Asia. Under the deal, the two sports channels will showcase popular TNA programmes – TNA Impact, TNA Xplosion and a special weekly show from the archives of TNA Wrestling. In addition, Star Sports will also feature a monthly special.

TNA wrestling is a rival to the more establised World Wrestling Entertainment and features many superstars from the world of professional wrestling. The likes of the ‘King of The Mountain’ Jeff Jarrett, The ‘Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels, Jeff Hardy, Raven, Kevin Nash, Shark Boy, Sean Waltman (123 kid or XPAC) and DDP are household names and revered alike by fans all over. TNA Wrestling also features Dutt, who is considered a very strong contender for the X-Division title.

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