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Report on Hindi News Viewership

ESS to air 'Harsha Ki Khoj' from Thursday

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MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports' (ESS) latest marketing initiative Closeup Dream Job - Harsha Ki Khoj goes on air from 25 November 2004.

15 episodes of the talent hunt will be telecast every Thursday at 8:30 pm on ESPN. As reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com ESS' talent hunt is searching for a presenter for the channel in India. The contest is basically targetted at sports fanatics who have grit enough to become a commentator - just like Harsha Bhogle. The winner gets a one year contract.

In addition to the 15 televised episodes, the final and the on-air commentary rounds will also be telecast. In a first of its kind experiment, the final 32 aspirants will compete in an on-air commentary round during the telecast of India-Bangladesh Test series.

The entire show will be in English and Hindi in keeping with ESPN's initiatives in Hindi to reach out to a larger audience. In the initial screening round, over 45,000 callers submitted their recording via the mobile phone yielding over 100,000 minutes of commentary. This one-minute voice commentary was judged by ESS and selected >participants were auditioned at six cities across the country between 24 October and 21 November 2004. Judges including Wasim Akram and Ravi Shastri adjudicated the contestants at various auditions.

Contestants were evaluated on certain parameters like knowledge of sports, camera presence, style, and writing skills for television, voice modulation,

presence of mind, sense of humour and the ability to carry oneself in front of the camera.

Speaking on the initiative, ESS cricket and Indian production director Ray Hume said, "One of the key differentiators of our 'Hunt' has been the variety of professionals we have received entries from. I guess, the fact that Harsha being an MBA that too from a premier institute like IIM Ahmedabad, has triggered people's passions and imaginations to question if Harsha can why can't we?

"That is why we have doctors, MBAs, lawyers, architects, software engineers applying for Harsha Ki Khoj.. All of them are ready to leave their practicing profession for there association with sports."

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