Television

Max goes the Extraaa mile for Champions Trophy

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MUMBAI: Cricket weds entertainment! With the Champions trophy in cricket kicking off in less than a month's time on 7 October 2006, Max is adding more muscle to its wrap around show Extraaa Innings.

Max executive VP and business head Albert Almeida notes that Max turned cricket into an entertainment property. This way it was able to hook in women and kids as well. This time he says that the Extraaa Innings content has been beefed up. For starters, in addition to the hosts Mandira Bedi and Charu Sharma, whom Max calls the first couple of cricket it has roped in television stars Rohit Roy and Shonali Nagrani as well. Roy will co-present various segments of Extraaa Innings. Nagrani will be the roving reporter. "Having said that Extraaa Innings will continue to be a judicious mix of serious cricketing action for the hardcore cricket buff and wholesome entertainment for the family," Almeida adds.

They will be joined by many experts on the game including former English opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott, former Indian cricket coach John Wright who will provide an insider's touch, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who should add spice to the show, Barry Richards and Ian Chappell. On each match day Eztraaa Innings starts at 12:30 PM There will be a two-hour pre show, a show during the lunch break and a one-hour post show.

A dual feed: Sony COO NP Singh says that this time around there will also be a Hindi feed on Sab. Three India matches, the semi finals and final will be aired on Sab. Maninder Singh, Atul Wassan and Saba Karim are among the commentators for this feed. The aim is to reach out better to places in the North like UP.

Almeida says that Extraaa Innings haws been beefed keeping in mind factors like Indians increasingly becoming technologically savvy, they see cricketers as celebrities who do other things (like Sachin has his own restaurant).

Max will organise a talent hunt using Extraaa Innings to promote it. The hunt looks for a roving reporter who will join the team to cover World Cup in the West Indies next year. There is also an interactive game Predict 2 Win, which allows fans to win prizes. The Gully Cricket initiative has been turned into a mobile game, which can be played by visiting the mobile portal 2525. Then the mascot of Max the tiger Deewana will now be a part of Extraaa Innings. There will be Deewana's countdown of her game, his ratings of the game, players etc. Then there is also a Max Makeover.

Here one will see fashion experts comment on the style quotient of the players.

Of course features that were there before will return.
These include Q&A. Here fans get to ask questions to the panel through SMS. Then there is Voice of India.

Here Max's expert panel will ask the audience to voice their opinion on issues. Answers can be sent through SMS or the internet. Message Board is a platform where viewers can send in goodwill messages to the Indian team through SMS. Another section India On tour offers a sneak peak into the daily routine of the Indian team. This will take them behind the scenes to the nets, practice matches etc.

The DTH Plan: Sony CEO Kunal Dasgupta says that Max is talking to both DTH platforms Tata Sky and Dish TV regarding putting in interactive features. One feature will allow viewers the option to choose one of four angles to watch the match. Max also plans to offer highlight packages.

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