Media, a UK based media property development company, will launch its second season of the reality talent hunt show, Cricket Star, in India. The company has a specific focus on developing multimedia properties for the Indian subcontinent with a vision of finding and promoting India's hidden sports talent. In early 2007, the company launched the first season of Cricket Star, which was also its first media property in India.
Recently, the company tied up with the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) for the second season of Cricket Star. The second season of the show is likely to begin in February 2008. Emerging Media will hold auditions in eight IPL cities to hunt for talented cricket players. These cities are New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
The show will have 18 episodes spread over nine weeks every Saturday and Sunday. Emerging Media has not decided on the channel on which it will have the show broadcast. However, the channel will be the same as the one on which IPL chooses to broadcast it Twenty20 matches. So far, Sony, ESPN and Nimbus Sports have been shortlisted as prospective contenders. IPL is likely to narrow down on one of these channels by the end of this month.
Greg Chappell and Ian Frazer will be the selectors and fitness coaches for the show. The shortlisted candidates will be given on the spot pressure situations in which they'll have to perform and prove their mettle. One such situation could be to score 10 runs on three balls. Emerging Media is also in talks with actor Mandira Bedi, cricketers Navjot Singh Sidhu and Ajay Jadeja and VJ Cyrus Broacha to host the show as anchors.
Emerging Media is yet to decide on an advertising agency to promote Cricket Star in the market. The promotions are likely to begin by mid-January 2008.
Early this year, the first series of the show was aired on Doordarshan and Zee in India. The winner, Sukhvir Singh, was awarded a contract with the Leicestershire County Cricket Club and is currently playing for the Air India team.
The company is also looking to launch its second media property in India, Soccer Star, around the same time as Cricket Star. Soccer Star will not be as big a show as Cricket Star; it will have only four-six episodes. The show will be a six city talent hunt. Coaches from Liverpool will be brought down to act as selectors and judges. Because the show will not be a very big media property, the company will look for a news channel as a partner, instead of a commercial entertainment channel.