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Commonwealth Games: 'Pride' on air

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 08, 2010
Radio coverage of the Commonwealth Games is an interesting mix of pre-event and current on air programming, bringing out the pride of the city in hosting the games

The Commonwealth Games (CWG) is all over the city. Radio stations in Delhi, too, have gone all out to make this sporting extravaganza bigger for their listeners by lining up a host of programming and on ground activities.

For the radio stations, games coverage has turned out to be a mix of sports personality based programming and on ground initiatives.

Radio Mirchi built up buzz around the games by having a 100 day countdown leading up to the games. The radio station's mantra for the games is centred on bringing out trivia and information about the games and sportspersons.

Talking about the coverage on the station, Yatish Mehrishi, cluster head and station director, Radio Mirchi, says, "After Asian Games in 1982 and Cricket World Cup in 1987, CWG is the next biggest sporting event in the country. We have been following the games right from the arrival of the Queen's Baton in the country. Our RJs (radio jockeys) and OB vans tracked the journey of the games baton from Wagah to Delhi."

Radio Mirchi especially got AR Rahman and Kailash Kher to unravel their respective anthem songs for the games on the station.

Similarly, Big FM has initiated a campaign, titled 'Dilli mein game-shame ho rahe hai, shame shame mat hone Dena' for the CWG. The radio station has taken pledges from celebrities as well as auto drivers and shopkeepers to keep their city clean and green when sporting fraternities and other visitors from various parts of the world are in Delhi.

The station is also holding on-air contests, with listeners getting an opportunity to win passes for various sporting events every hour. It is also giving out passes for concerts at the Qutub Festival, which is being organised by the Delhi Government as a major attraction for the games.

A majority of the radio stations have incorporated minute by minute updates of CWG as part of their programming and special mentions by RJs.

Fever FM Delhi also rolled out a campaign, titled 'Go India! Go for Gold', urging Indian participants to clinch medals. As part of the pre-event activities, the radio station flagged off a victory march led by Sheila Dixit, chief minister, Delhi and Suresh Kalmadi, chairperson, CWG Organising Committee.

On the activation front, Fever FM put up panels across various schools, colleges, malls, markets and offices in Delhi, inviting people to affix their hand imprints as a gesture of 'high five' in support of the Indian team. The canvasses with hand imprints added up to almost 6000 running feet, the iconic wall being a colourful visual reminder of public support.

Additionally, Fever FM has also launched an initiative called 'Games Sambhalegi Sarkar- Traffic Sambhalega poori Dilli ke saath - Fever 104!'. Fever FM listeners have been appointed to act as traffic volunteers for the games and are spread out across the city to help Delhiites take lesser known but much needed 'patli-galis' (short cuts) to their destinations.

Red FM is broadcasting all the action from the CWG stadium throughout the day. Exclusive interviews with members of the Indian contingent, news about events scheduled for the day and a regular update of the medals tally are part of Red FM's programming initiative for the CWG.

The games have the support of not only radio stations operating in Delhi but from other networks as well, which do not cater to the market directly. For example, My FM welcomed the Queen's Baton in Raipur, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore and Surat.

My FM Raipur organised a contest for its listeners, where one lucky winner got the chance to hold the baton in the relay with My FM RJs, while the relay was covered live by the radio station.

Harrish M Bhatia, chief executive officer, My FM, says, "Though the CWG is very Delhi centric, My FM expressed its passion and pride for the games by welcoming the Queen's Baton to all the cities where My FM is present."

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