AXN looking at an 'India Challenge' next year

MUMBAI: One of the brand building initiatives that AXN has done over the last couple of years in India is organise ground events. It started in 2002 with Who Dares Wins. Last year this concept was expanded upon withExtreme Dhamaka.

This year the channel is in the middle of the India Pakistan Challenge. The broadcaster is now looking at holding another ground event next year in March-April.

Speaking to Sony assistant VP marketing Rohit Bhandari who looks after AXN in India said, "There are a couple of ideas in the pipeline. We may look at having an AXN Challenge in India. Having participants compete in different activities like swimming, rope climbing would make for an attractive ground activity."

Basically an AXN Challenge sees participants doing a variety of activities like rope climbing, kayaking. There are also mental tests which tests how well the teams of three can think on their feet. All members of a team have to cross the finish line together. Otherwise they are disqualified. The next AXN Challenge takes place In Phillipines on 27 November.

A couple of years ago AXN had held a mini Challenge for India in conjunction with the Hong Kong Tourism Board. The winners were then sent to Hong Kong to participate in the AXN Challenge. The event next year will no doubt look at expanding on this.

Besides the logistical issues if there is a drawback in these proposed plans for India it is the fact that Indians are not adventurous and do not enjoy playing sports. In 2002 most of the participants came from the Indian Army and Navy. This is not the case in other Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia where you have executives and business professionals participating along with professional racers.

As far as this year's India Pakistan Challenge is concerned the preliminary rounds have been completed. The finale takes place in Taiwan in the middle of next month. Bhandari added that the delay was on account of storm warnings that had been issued in the country.

Meanwhile on the programming front AXN will do something quite rare for it. It will premiere a high profile movie that has not been seen on Indian television. This is Michael Moore's documentary Bowling For Columbine and airs on 28 November at 8 pm.

It won an Oscar earlier this year and deals with America's gun culture. What is interesting is that Moore's film reveals that while Canada has the same number of guns as America Canadians do not shoot each other.

The guns are used for hunting purposes. Also the documentary pooh poohs the theory that violence in America is on account of its violent past. Germany had the holocaust in the second World War. However Germans today do not go around killing each other.

The channel will also kick off the sixth edition of the reality show The Amazing Race every Sunday at 5 pm from 21 November. This is just four days after CBS premieres the show in the US. As in the past participants run around the world in the hopes of winning a grand prize of $1 million

The previous edition of The Amazing Race saw California couple Chip and Kim McAllister a sporty duo from the Los Angeles suburbs pull out all the stops to cross the finish line first.

To net their million-dollar reward, Chip and Kim covered more than 72,000 miles of terrain across six continents and 11 countries. They ran, hiked and even made use of a luge to snag the first place slot.

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