Will reality shows rule the roost? Buoyed by the success of ‘Cricket Star’– the reality programme on cricket launched last October — its producer is planning an encore with ‘Soccer’ this time.
The London-based Emerging Media, which has bought the Indian reality TV content provider, Investors in Cricket, is set to launch ‘Soccer Star’ – a reality show on talent hunt for football in June/July.
“The company has already entered into a partnership with Liverpool Football Club, which will offer its specialised training to the winner of the show. Many LFC stars and coaches will participate in the testing process and anchor the show,” said Manoj Badale, Chairman of Emerging Media.
“The programme expansion is part of the company’s plan to expand its suite of programmes to eight in the next two years. We have a Rs 250 crore outlay for this purpose,” Badale added.
Soccer Star is the second in the series produced by the company. It launched its Cricket Star – a talent search programme from 11 cities in India in October 2006, which is planned as an annual feature from now on. Unlike in the first two programmes, the company wants to enter into non-sport areas, including gaming shows in the next phase.
The Cricket Star programme of 2006 spanning 61 episodes, involving participants from 11 cities in India, was also broadcast in some Asian countries, Middle East and in packets where Indian population is significantly present like in London and in the US. The programme was simulcast on Doordarshan National, Zee Sports and Zee TV. The reality show was also broadcast/ simulcast through Internet and mobile phones as well.
However, Soccer series will be shorter as the game is not popular like cricket across the country. Soccer is mainly played only in five states or clusters – West Bengal, North East, Kerala, Goa and parts of Punjab.