Max plans bigger and better Extraaa Innings

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | March 28, 2012
With a lot of changes in the packaging of the match analysis show, Extraaa Innings, SET Max has increased its production cost by 25 per cent. The show will be shot in HD. The content will be available on Max HD.

Multi Screen Media's channel Max has built a replica of Rome's Colloseum as the set of Extraaa Innings. India Premier League Season 5 will also see many new faces on its match analysis show.

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The packaging of the show will be a mix of Bollywood stars, gags, stand up comedians and some cultural performances. It will also feature cheerleaders inside the studio. All this has reportedly shot up the production cost by 25-30 per cent in IPL Season 5. The channel claims that it sticks to its 'general entertainment' tag with this kind of programming.

While cricket has already established itself as an entertaining property, why the need for these add-ons in the analysis show? Jasdeep Singh Pannu, senior vice-president and head, programming, Max, says, "Cricket is entertaining but listening to the same analysis of a three hour long match doesn't give that stickiness to the channel. IPL targets a wide range of audiences, both cricketing and non-cricketing, TG around the globe.

Jasdeep Singh Pannu

Neeraj Vyas

"As far as critics are concerned, the channel was criticised even when we took Mandira Bedi on-board as a presenter. Having a woman presenter on a sport analysis show was also not in fashion. We are just trying to give extra to the viewer and create the best viewership experience for the audience. For all these changes, we have registered about three times ratings as compared to other wrap-around shows across tournaments."

The channel claims that this entertainment quotient will be maintained even after the tournament telecast is transferred to its upcoming sports channel, Six.

The show will be available on the HD channel, Max HD, along with the rest of the bouquet. The channel expects a growth of 10-15 per cent in its ad revenue, which stood at about Rs 950 crore in the previous season (IPL Season 4). The ad revenue of the tournament has been increasing every season, from approximately Rs 400 crore in the second season to the expected Rs 1,100 crore in Season 5.

There are cross promotions with the movies which are scheduled to release during this time. Neeraj Vyas, executive vice-president and business head, Max, says, "The ad revenue is expected to increase by about 10-15 per cent in this season. Except for some FMCG brands, we have already retained almost all the sponsors of the last seasons, and included a few new ones. Even after a 10 per cent rise in the ad rates, 70 per cent of the total pie is already sold. The next week is crucial for us as we are in talks with many brands."

Though Bollywood stars will be featured in the show and talk about their films along with cricket, the channel claims that this will not involve any brand integration. Vyas adds, "Brand integration in the content is a strict no because we don't want to dilute the cricket+entertainment quotient of the show. The content will be purely based on what is planned for the best cricket analysis in an entertaining manner."

Thought the tournament has seen a clear slowdown in the TVRs, the channel expects to hit 4.5+ TVR in the upcoming season.

For the records, IPL Season 1 had garnered an average TVR of 5.39, while in the latest season (IPL 2011), it registered an average of 3.91 TVRs.

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