Television

Bids for soccer rights to open 8 June: AIFF

NEW DELHI: The comic capers in the Indian sports industry now seem to be spreading to other sports bodies too, apart from the Indian cricket board, which has been locked in legalities over telecast rights of domestic cricket for over six months now.

 

Even as Indian pubcaster Doordarshan yesterday bragged that it had bagged the telecast rights of domestic soccer, the football federation today clarified the agreement concluded Monday was for the previous season, which ends on 30 September, 2005.

Speaking to Indiantelevision.com over phone from Goa, the secretary-general of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Alberto Colaco, admitted, “The MoU signed with DD is valid for a period up to 30 September, 2005.”

New telecast bids for new seasons, probably stretching over three to five years, will be opened on 8 June when an attempt would be made to jazz up football, too, as done by ESPN Star Sports with hockey when the TV-friendly Premier Hockey League (PHL) was unveiled earlier this year.

 

 

Colaco added that the federation is looking at handing out telecast rights this time round for “at least five years.” However, the bidders’ don’t expect the rights to be given for more than three years time.

As of now, DD doesn’t figure in the list of those companies that made presentations to the AIFF. Those who have been asked to submit financial bids include traditional sports broadcasters like ESPN Star Sports and Zee Sports, non-traditional ones like NDTV and marketers like Nimbus and Leisure Sports Management.

Having seen what could happen when a broadcaster, an event management company and a sport’s body (All India Hockey Federation) shake hands --- the birth of PHL --- the AIFF too is contemplating designing a football equivalent.

Meanwhile, for the record, this is what Prasar Bharati announced yesterday: the MoU with the AIFF will enable it to telecast various football matches on Doordarshan like the Santosh Trophy, National Football League (NFL), Super

League and matches involving state and school level teams.

According to the DD statement, it will pay a graded rights fee of Rs 1 million, Rs 600,000 and Rs 400,000 for `A’, `B’ and ‘C’ category matches, respectively.

After signing the agreement, AIFF president Priyaranjan Dasmunshi did hint that innovations were being worked out to make the game more TV-friendly.

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