Now, the IPL will not be restricted to just the 45 days of its run. The cricketainment will continue for the whole year on Colors.
COO Rajesh Kamat announced the association of his channel, currently the No 1 Hindi general entertainment channel, with the Indian Premier League with Lalit Modi.
Kamat admits that his channel made the move to take IPL forward from what it has become today. “Cricket is a religion in our country. The idea was to turn IPL into a year-round property. Of course, the series would end with the final match but the entertainment associated with the support will continue throughout the year in various forms. We have the franchise owners like Shilpa Shetty and Priety Zinta supporting the initiative. It’s a three-year deal though I’m confident that it will last much longer than that,” asserts Kamat.
Special shows involving cricketers from various teams are also being planned. This year, the idea is to run the match after-parties, replete with fashion shows, cricketers and film stars, during the season. Other than that, on April 23, a special award function is being planned to honour cricketers. Film stars, the top actors from the Colors shows and the biggest names from various fields are expected to grace the occasion.
Kamat also informs that the channel is currently in talks with Akshay Kumar to host the special IPL season of Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi.
“Khatron Ke Khiladi will lead the package of special properties other than the after parties and the awards this year. We are in talks with Akshay, hopefully he will green signal it. We’re also working out the locations, the dates and the cricketers who could become participants on the show. There are some more shows that are also being planned but it would be a little early to comment on them,” says Kamat.
Kamat replied in affirmation saying that he is considering bringing Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina, the show that featured cricketers paired with actresses in a dance competition, back in a special edition.
“That was a hit show. It might be a little early to say if we would have Sushmita Sen and Wasim Akram judging it, but we would like to bring that show back with an impressive line-up. That show gave a rating of three points on weekends, when my channel was a 100-GRP channel a year ago. I’m sure it will do better if and when it comes back,” Kamat says with an air of confidence.
Wonder why the channel didn’t approach Lalit Modi, the commissioner and chairman of Indian Premier League a year ago, when the tournament was in its second season. To this Kamat says, “Better late than never. We wanted to pose a new challenge to ourselves. This initiative serves the purpose the best. We’ve all witnessed the magic of the IPL. But it was high time that the entertainment quotient was upped and the tournament overall was taken to another level. There couldn’t have been a better deal than this: cricket, glamour and a platform like ours.”
The shows are expected to take on weekday and weekend slots depending on their content.
“So far, we haven’t decided which show goes into which slot. It will depend on the kind content that comes to the table. Some of the shows could be pre-IPL, there would be some during IPL and a lot more action after IPL. Khatron Ke Khiladi, most probably would come post IPL to take the fever to another level,” promises Kamat.