The main focus for Ten Sports is to promote
the game of cricket rather than creating properties around it. Sharmista Rijhwani, managing director, Ten Sports India, says, "We want to present cricket in its purest form." She was referring to other competing sports channels' strategy of presenting cricket in a more glamourous way, and in turn making it "frivolous".
Speaking on the importance of Cricket in the channels overall scheme of things Ms. Sharmista Rijhwani added," To fill up a 24hours, 365 days sports channel, continous investments have to be made in acquiring new sports programming. Sports acquisitions and production of live sporting events involves high investments, far more than that required in any other television genre. While non-cricketing programming may make up 95% of the time on a channel, the remaining 5% which is India cricket has to make up the bulk of the revenues to recover the overall investment. Thus Indiacricket programming on Ten Sports is the key focus and it is in our interest to promote it, as 95% of the revenues will have to come from it."
However, it's not that cricket telecast on Ten Sports will be limited to a mere coverage of the match. During the triangular series to be played among Sri Lanka, India, and West Indies at Colombo from July 30 to August 9, the channel will have a show 'Straight Drive', which will be aired an hour before and after the match.
This programme will see cricketing experts such as Sanjay Manjrekar, Javagal Srinath, Rameez Raja, Ranjith Fernando, Ian Bishop, Ian Chappell and Ian Healy will give their views on the match.
Peter Hutton, head of programming, Ten Sports, says, "With so many commentators, the viewers will get a wider view on the game and the match."
Hutton adds, "While we telecast cricket or any other sports, we try to bring the complete emotions of the game in front of the viewers. For instance, whenever a wicket falls, or a player gets hurt, the television channels tend to take a commercial break. This way, the viewers miss out on the emotions in the field. Although we are aware that these slots can deliver more revenue for us, we have strictly advised our producers to restrict commercial break at these intense moments to a large extent."
The channel, meanwhile, has bagged Indian Oil as its title sponsor. In addition, the other sponsors for the triangular series are Hutch, Pepsi, Maruti and Hero Honda.
In association with Indian Oil, Ten Sports is launching an on-air contest around the tournament. The contest will also be driven off-air at IOC outlets. The winner will get to fly to Sri Lanka to watch the finals in Colombo.
During this tournament, IOC will utilise the opportunity to launch its high octane petrol brand 'XtraPremium' in Sri Lanka.
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