From KKR, a leap forward to Nokia Champions League Twenty20 for Shahrukh Khan

12 Sep,2011

ESPN Star Sports, the official broadcaster and commercial partner of Nokia Champions League Twenty20, has formally announced that Bollywood legend and superstar, Shahrukh Khan, is the face of the tournament. Nokia, the title sponsor of Champions League Twenty20, also announced ambitious plans to promote its association with the tournament. Nokia announced the Nokia Ke Asli Champions campaign for consumers, in which winners will get an opportunity to be part of Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra’s Champion team and watch the finals live with her.


ESPN Star Sports (ESS), the global commercial rights partner of NCL T20, also announced that it will showcase the tournament to fans in more than 174 territories worldwide. NCL T20 will also be telecast in a record 18 different international languages across the world, one of the few cricket properties presented to fans in such a customised way. In India, all the 29 matches will be broadcast live on Star Cricket and Star Cricket HD. ESPN will carry all 23 matches of the main tournament with Hindi commentary.


The Nokia Ke Asli Champions contest will run across Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata between September 15 and October 5, 2011.


Commenting on the development, Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, Shahrukh Khan is a great fit as the face of Nokia Champions League Twenty20 and we are delighted to have him with us on this fascinating journey. His participation is however not limited to being the public face of NCL T20. As a team owner, I am sure he will be looking forward to Kolkata Knight Riders qualifying for the main edition of the tournament. We wish him the very best for the qualifying round of matches.


Sundar Raman, CEO, Nokia Champions League Twenty20, said, The 2011 edition of the Nokia Champions League Twenty20 is set to be the tournament’s biggest and most successful yet. The addition of a six-team qualifier for the first time adds another dimension to the tournament. It also provides a record number of teams with a chance to win club cricket’s most prestigious prize.


D Shivakumar, Managing Director, Nokia India, said, Cricket holds a special place in the hearts of Indians and we are excited to be the title sponsors for Champions League T20 as it reinforces our commitment to the youth by connecting them to their passion.


Commenting on his association, Shahrukh Khan, added, I am extremely proud to be associated with Nokia Champions League Twenty20. I am doubly happy as my team Kolkata Knight Riders is also in with a chance of qualifying for this prestigious event. NCL T20 is a unique concept as the best T20 teams from across nations face off for the ultimate prize being Champion of Champions. It doesn’t get better than this.


About his team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, he said he is quietly confident. I believe that the team is pulling out all stops to prepare for this event and I feel that along with the other IPL teams KKR also has a good chance of first qualifying to the main edition and then excelling in further matches. We are working hard and we promise to deliver wholesome and exciting cricket for our fans.


Cricketing talking heads lined up by ESPN Star Sports include Harsha Bhogle, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Kepler Wessels, HD Ackerman, Ian Chappell, Tom Moody, Ian Bishop and Alan Wilkins.
The TV ratings of second edition of Champions League Twenty20 saw a 35 percent increase over the first edition. The combined ratings (all channels) for the 2010 edition was 2.05* as compared to 1.5* for 2009. Even in terms of reach, the 2010 edition of CL T20 had an increase of 20 percent. The 2010 edition was watched by 90 million viewers as compared to 74.6 million in 2009.
*TG: CS Males, 15+, Sec ABC. Source TAM. For Reach, TG: CS 4+

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