If you cannot beat them, join them! It seems that the leading Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors has followed this advice and has entered into a three-year entertainment licensing deal with the Indian Premier League (IPL).
During the IPL, viewership of Hindi GECs suffers. Colors from the Viacom18 stable has found a solution to this problem, signing a deal that will enable it to launch a series of new entertainment initiatives to attract more fans into the IPL fold.
Colors will launch a series of entertainment properties around IPL and IPL players that will look to make the T20 cricket event a full year affair. The properties will air not just during the 45-day IPL 2010 Season, but afterwards as well.
One of the IPL themed shows on Colors will be a special IPL edition ‘Fear factor – Khatron Ke Khiladi IPL Special’. Viacom18 COO and Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat says that four to five properties are in the pipeline. This will include showcasing the ‘IPL Awards Night’ which takes place for the first time in April. It will also have 42 ‘IPL Nights’ where one can see parties and fashion shows that will take place after the matches.
The IPL awards show aims to combine elements of the Oscar and the Screen Awards. The event will take place in Mumbai on 23 April 2010.
The Viacom18 channels like MTV will also air some of the IPL entertainment properties.
Says IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi, “The IPL is constantly looking to innovate. The marriage between IPL and Colors was bound to happen. IPL is not just about cricket. It is also about entertainment and adding value for our viewers. The question was how to take the entertainment quotient to the next level. This deal will extend the IPL beyond just 45 days. This unique entertainment proposition will combine our IPL cricketers’ mass appeal and Colors’ flagship format shows to create an unprecedented genre of cricketainment. This deal is part of the Central Execution Programme started by the IPL Governing Council.”
According to actress Preity Zinta, who owns a stake in Kings XI Punjab, the deal fills a need gap. “At fashion shows the work of 50 designers will be showcased. They will be integrated with the players. We will also be doing interactive initiatives like a rockstar contest. This will involve going into the catchment areas,” she says.
As per the deal, the licensing amount from Colors will go to the team franchises.
Modi says the last four matches of the IPL will be shown in 3D. Over a thousand cinema halls across the country will also screen the IPL, he adds.