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Max to add Extraa zing to IPL; targets 50% jump in revenues
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MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television India (now known as Multi Screen Media) expects to reap a 40-50 per cent jump in revenue from the second edition of the IPL, a sign that the Twenty20 cricket format is untouched by global recession and the shift in home to South Africa.

A hike in advertising rates and a higher consumption of the inventory will help Sony ride the rough waves as advertisers shrink budgets in a slowing economy.

"We expect the revenue to be 40-50 per cent higher than last year. With IPL being a proven property, the ad rates are higher this time. The inventory will also be fully consumed unlike last time when the first few matches were not totally sold out," Sony COO NP Singh tells Indiantelevision.com, while refusing to provide further financial details.

IPL repeats on Sony

Sony Entertainment Television, the Hindi general entertainment channel, will air repeats of the IPL matches in the mornings while Max will be telecasting live the entire tourney with a Hindi and an English audio feed.

"We had repeat programming on Sony. We will also be replacing telebrands content with repeat telecast of the IPL matches in the mornings," says Singh.

As reported first in Indiantelevision.com, Channel 8 will show the matches of the Kolkata Knight Riders, the semi-finals and the final. Sony, which had acquired the Bengali movie channel, believes that the IPL content will widen Channel 8's reach and viewership.

Opening ceremony to have Hollywood stars

The opening ceremony will have Hollywood heavyweights Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, besides Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan. There will also be extravagant song and dance numbers.

"Carnivals will start on the 16th in South Africa to give the IPL a big buzz before the kick off on Friday," says Max business head Sneha Rajani.

Extraa Innings adds zing

Max is adding zing to its wraparound show Extraa Innings. Mandira Bedi, who has been a cricket presenter on the channel for the last six years but who was absent from the inaugural season of the IPL, will make her T20 debut on the channel. The other presenters of Extraa Innings are Samir Kochhar, Indian idol 4 host Melyang Chang and VJ Gaurav Kapoor.

Max has roped in Shankar Ehsaan Loy to compose the title track for Extraa Innings. Also, most of the show will be from the different grounds in South Africa, while a small amount of time will be spent in the Mumbai-based studio.

Max will have a line up of 16 commentators including Ravi Shastri, Mark Nicholas, L Sivaramakrishnan and Danny Morrison. They will offer expert views and opinions on Extraa Innings in addition to the live commentary.

"Some will be based at our Mumbai studio. You will see a smooth rotation of experts being used. This time for the IPL we will have 34 cameras, as compared to 24 last time,” says Rajani.

Marketing budgets up

The marketing budget will go up significantly as Max plans to penetrate its campaign for the IPL much deeper this time. The campaign has been based on the theme Ek Desh Ek Junoon.

“Last year most of the focus rested on the metros. Now we have gone into the Hindi heartland. This year there has been an attempt to penetrate the South. We have used radio and print a lot to achieve this goal. We want rural India to also get excited about the IPL up North and down South as well. We have advertised on a lot of regional channels.”

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