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Colors snaps 'Box Cricket League' rights; slots it on Sundays at 4.30 pm

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MUMBAI: Colors has joined hands with Balaji Telefilms and Marinating Films to bring together television and cricket in a power packed season 2 of Box Cricket League (BCL). The first season of the property was aired on Sony Entertainment Television. 

Season 2 of Box Cricket league will be a long six month reality show, which will be aired every Sunday. The channel will start shooting for the show in the second week of February.  

With a stellar line up of 200 celebrities in 10 teams, the one and a half hour show BCL will be aired on Colors and Colors HD from 28 February, 2016 every Sunday at 4.30 pm with a repeat telecast on Rishtey. 

It may be recalled that on Sony, BCL season 1 had 150 celebrities and eight teams. The weekly show was aired at 7:30 pm.   

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Colors CEO Raj Nayak said, “We had a talk with Ekta (Ekta Kapoor) one day and we were discussing on how we can do better with BCL and she felt that the show can be better on Colors. We genuinely believe in the format and felt that if it’s strategically positioned well, packaged and marketed with a creative tweak to the format, then it has the potential to make it big this time.” 

Talking about the late afternoon time slot for the show, he says, “About 99 per cent of people are at home from 4:30 - 6 pm on a Sunday. This is also the time when women who watch different shows on television want to see a different side to their celebs. Cricket is just a backdrop, it has drama, emotions and passion. BCL can be a great reality show. We air movies in the 4:30 evening slot and we garnered the maximum ratings. I think if the content is good then people will follow it.” 

This star-studded cricket league will have 10 teams named after 10 cities namely Ahmedabad Express, Kolkata Babu Moshayes, Chandigarh Cubs, Delhi Dragons, Jaipur Raj Joshiley, Chennai Swaggers, Mumbai Tigers, Pune Anmol Ratan, Rowdy Bangalore and Lucknow Nawabs led by celebrities like Sunny Leone, Nandish Sandhu, Ajay Chaudhry, Mrunal Jain, Anita Hassandani, Kamya Punjabi and others.

The high point of the game is the mix of men and women in every team. The inclusion of males and females across all teams, makes it a battle of equals where the celebrities will be fully charged to kick the dust up.

Commenting on the time slot, Balaji Telefilms joint managing director Ekta Kapoor said, “The slot has seen ratings earlier. It’s a movie slot and also and Sunday evening is family time when the entire family can watch cricket together specially the ladies of the house. Therefore we think it’s the perfect time band for BCL.” 

With a huge number of television stars vying to play this season of BCL, the league owners have had to set new guidelines for player qualifications. 

The strict diktat ensures only top lead actors (who've starred as main leads for a minimum of 250 episodes) and second lead actors (who've had at least 500 episodes to their credit) can partake in this season. Besides popular fiction faces, GEC reality show winners and top contestants are also qualified to play. 

Marinating Films managing director Sunny Arora asserted, “I used to organise cricket tournaments since my childhood. So one night this idea crossed my mind to have a cricket league and I discussed it with my partner Anand that we should have men and women playing together. We announced on Whatsapp that we were coming up with this league and since sending that message, the next three days were the most busiest days of my life. So that's how the idea came about.”

Arora also added, “Colors is one of the leading channel in India and no one can compete with them when it comes to non-fiction series. Also Colors has a very strong team including Raj Nayak, Manisha and Sheetal, they are so clear in their thought and every show on Colors works and we believe that BCL will also work."

With 200 celebrities in one show, BCL is no doubt an expensive proposition. Talking about the same, Arora informed, "This year the production cost of BCL has increased three times compared to last year. This time we are using a bigger venue, larger crew and more technicians. We have also incorporated more software to make the show as good as international matches. So yes, it's an expensive show and we have invested much more than last year. And we are confident that the cost will be recovered because we are on Colors.”

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