This year’s Onam celebrations had Malayalees the world over glued to their television. Nearly a dozen channels beamed special programmes round-the-clock for three days (August 25 to 27).

Most of the programmes were film-based and comedy shows, with a record 15 feature films shown including films dubbed from Tamil, Hindi and Telugu into Malayalam!

The maximum viewership was for Mammootty’s “Rajamanickam” and Mohanlal’s “Udayananu Tharam” on Surya and Asianet respectively. However, the celebrations on television affected the Onam releases in theatres since they failed to draw a crowd. The Malayalam film industry feels it is fighting a losing battle against the growing influence of television, and in future may not release films during festival season!

New look cricket Cricket, especially the one-day format, is a big draw on television.

But of late the viewership for the game is declining worldwide, which is worrying sports networks as advertisement revenue from the game is falling.

From this month, cricket telecast will be revamped to attract the youth , who form the bulk of the viewership. ICC, cricket’s governing body is holding the first ever ‘Twenty20’ inaugural World Championship in South Africa from September 11 to 24.

ESPN-Star sports will telecast the matches.

The big question is whether the format will appeal to viewers?

With technological support, the presentation is being made interesting and entertaining. Meanwhile, sports channels and advertisers are anxious to know how Indian cricket viewers will respond to the new game concept and telecast.

Treasure hunt on ZeeZee TV is coming up with a reality show “Fun on the Run”. It is a treasure hunt game show featuring eight celebrity duos, and the contest will be spread across nine Indian cities and will involve a series of tasks and games. The winner will get a prize of Rs. 25 lakh. The participants on the show are Rajeev Paul and Delnaaz Paul, Anushka Manchanda and Pratichee Mahapatra, Bakhtiyar Irani and Tanaaz Irani, Rajesh Kumar and Madhavi Kumar, Kushal Punjabi and Chetan Hansraj, Mukul Dev and Gaurav Gera, Baba Sehgal and Anaida, Ayub Khan and Niharika Khan. The show premieres on September 8 at 7.30 p.m.

SREEDHAR PILLAI

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