sexy soccer soap, which follows the fortunes of fictional professional
football club Harchester United and its Dream Team airs Tuesdays
Harchester United is a premiership team based in the Midlands in
the UK and follows the football fortunes and the off-field activities
of the players as well as the club bosses. The series airs on Rupert
Murdoch's BSkyB platform in the UK on the Sky One network where
it is into its sixth season. It has also enjoyed popular success
in the US, an official release says.
The Harchester United Football Club even has a history - complete
with a mascot - 'Dragons'!
What the series also boasts is a high "babe quotient". Cast members
like Angela Saunders and Nina Muschallik would have fitted in well
in Baywatch. If MAX used Mandira Bedi and Charu Sharma's "angels"
to pump up the volume during the World Cup, Star Sports has opted
for a full soap series, albeit about football.
Saunders, Rachel Brady, Emma Harding, Jane Campbell, Scott Mean,
Dhaffer L’Abidine, Chucky Venice, Terence Maynard, Jim Alexander,
Muschallik, Louis Decosta Johnson, Neil Jackson, Ray MacAllan, Shaun
Scott and Ricky Whittle, are the stars of this daily soap.
Another hook that the series often uses is getting celebrities
for walk-on roles. Busty model Jordan was one of the more talked
about recent guests on the show, appearing in her first ever cameo
role. Other celebrities who have appeared in Dream Team include
Tara-Palmer Tompkinson, Gary Lucy, Matt Le Tissier, John Barnes,
'Big Ron' Atkinson and Dwight Yorke.
"We are looking at the issue of having entertainment-based programmes
related and based on sports on the two channels, including those
generated in India," Manu Sawhney, MD, ESPN Software told indiantelevision.com
today over phone from Dhaka where he has gone on an official trip.
actor and glam model Jordan
It may be remembered that indiantelevision.com had reported last
year that ESPN is mulling foraying into entertainment-related programming.
Similar programmes would surface on ESPN too, Sawhney says.
ESPN-Star Sports, a joint venture between ESPN (part of the Disney
group) and Star Sports (part of News Corporation), has also sounded
out some Indian producers on the issue and whether sports-based
soaps and entertainment programmes can be generated from India.
"We are examining the issue whether we can do it in-house or such
assignments have to be farmed out to other TV producers as we are
definitely looking at such programmes made out of India," Sawhney
Will the viewers play ball. This certainly seems like jock territory
so that section of the audience seems a cinch.