Television

Max gears up for the cricket World Cup

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MUMBAI: With seven weeks to go before the biggest sports event of the year the cricket World Cup kicks off Max is gearing up to create buzz around the event.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com Max business head Sneha Rajani says that Extraaa Innings the wrap around show kicks off at 5 pm on each match day. Since matches get over in the wee hours of the morning the pre show will start with a review of the previous match with the expert panel.

It will then go on to previewing the upcoming match. This time around some matches will also air on the English movie channel Pix in case Max and Sab cannot accomodate them. Besides the first couple of Extraaa Innings Charu Sharma and Mandira Bedi the channel has commentators like Geoffrey Boycott, former Indian cricket coach John Wright who will provide an insider's touch, Barry Richards and Ian Chappell. Max is also in the process of finding someone to send to the West Indies to join its commentary team with its Host Ka Dost hunt.

Max has kicked off promotional activity for the World Cup with an on air campaign. The message is that one world will be converging in the West Indies to watch the event.

The campaign is feel good and light in the spirit of the Caribbean which is known for its relaxed, fun atmosphere. From Friday a series of countdown spots will air to build anticipation. Rajani adds that no cricketers have been used. There will be calypso music to give viewers a feel of the upcoming event.

On the ground the channel will conduct a roadshow next month. A van will visit 150 cities in a bid to get fans to express their support for the boys in blue. The winning placard will be sent to the Indian team. Rajani conceedes that the fact that matches finish late might impact viewing particularly for the non India games. The hope is that the matches will be involving enough so that viewers do not mind going to bed late even if the likes of Saurav and Sachin are not involved.

The World Cup will be used to push Indian Idol 3 which is expected to kick off sometime in the May - June period on Sony. It will also push Max's blockbusters which will kick off from May. Key shows on Sony and Sab will also be pushed.

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