New Delhi: Get ready to live the magic of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Bollywood actor-producer and sports enthusiast John Abraham who will join a stellar line up of football icons - Peter Crouch, Robbie Fowler, Peter Shilton, Mikael Silvestre, Ellyse Perry and Sunil Chhetri - to reinvent primetime football viewing in India.
The FIFA mania is due to begin June 12 and it will go on till July 12.
There will be two live marquee shows `Cafe Rio` and `Football Extraaa` on all match days, and John will be part of `Cafe Rio`, a primetime wrap around show where he will interact and analyse matches with "some of the greatest legends of football".
"I am totally ready (to live the magic). I have football in my DNA. It is something I have grown up playing and not just me, I`m going to get the whole of India to live the magic with me," John said.
"This year, thankfully, there are all convenient slots of World Cup games - 9.30 p.m., 12.30 a.m., 3.30 a.m and 6.30 a.m. IST. As many as 64 matches are in the 9.30 p.m. slot and some of the big matches too, including one with Germany vs Portugal. It`s going to be great viewing experience for the Indian audience," he added.
The idea is to captivate both the football purist and the fringe viewers.
Talking about the forthcoming tournament which is happening in Brazil this year, Prasana Krishnan, business head of then channel telecasting the live matches, said in a statement: "2014 FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most anticipated football tournament of the world and keeping with its scale, we`re excited to present to our viewers the most renowned and eclectic line up of current and erstwhile football stars as studio guests."
The channel believes John`s presence will "render our show a generous dose of glamour and entertainment while the guests will bring in wisdom and insight" into the fame.
The line up of guests includes Crouch, fondly known as `Crouchy`, who has represented his country in two World Cups and is a current Premier League player. He is accompanied by former professional footballer and manager Fowler with English goalkeeper Shilton.
The wrap around show will also witness the presence of French defender Silvestre, along with another sporting sensation, Perry. Completing the group of six experts will be Indian striker Chhetri.
The two shows come with their own unique flavours - with `Cafe Rio`, a live primetime show at 8 p.m. leading up to the match kick-off at 9.30 p.m. A blend of sports and entertainment, the show entails interesting facts about victorious teams, historical venues and stalwart players along with in-depth analysis and discussion about squads, player forms, group standings and strategies.
The live breakfast show `Football Extraaa` will be a daily morning round-up show for viewers to relive the excitement and fun of the previous day`s matches. It will be interactive and will allow the audience to dial in and share their perspective or ask questions to studio guests.
Both shows will be telecast across the Indian subcontinent.