Television

ESS to air IFA Shield in December

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MUMBAI: As part of its commitment to develop sports in India ESPN Star Sports (ESS) will showcase live the semi-finals and the final of the IFA Shield 2005 football tournament next month.

ESS has been televising the country's oldest football tournament for last two years with tremendous response from the avid soccer fans of the country.

As had been reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com Total Sports Asia which works with the Indian Football Association (IFA) on the Futsal initiative will bring down the German club Bayern Munich for the event.

The tournament will feature only six clubs under a novel format this year- East Bengal. Mohun Bagan, Mohd. Sporting, Eveready, Malaysian club Perlis and the German club, Bayern Munich. The top German club has been given a direct entry into the semi finals for the tournament.

The channel is making special programming and production initiatives for the telecast of the tournament. Former soccer players and sports celebrities will feature in the ESS' studio for in-depth analysis and interesting discussions during the 'IFA Shield 2005'. The channel also has the impressive and highly knowledgable team of Jason Dasey as presenter and Novy Kapadia as commentator along with a variety of special guests for the IFA Shield 2005

ESS India MD R. C. Venkateish said, "ESPN Star Sports has been committed to the development of sports in India. We have been growing sports like hockey, soccer, tennis, motorsports among others with live coverage on our channel. Continuing with our efforts to promote domestic soccer, we will be showcasing the IFA shield for the third time this year."

"With our production quality and specialised packages, we expect more youth audience to tune in to the domestic soccer competition in India compared to about 700,000 viewers in 2004. We aim to target the football crazy audience with production quality similar to the international standards of English Premier League and the Champions league already showcased on ESPN Star Sports."adds Venkateish.

IFA honourary secretary Subrata Dutta said, "ESPN Star Sports and IFA have a long standing partnership for the last seven years. We hope that their high quality coverage of the tournament with international production quality will bring in more people to watch it. We are also enthusiastic about the top German club, Bayern Munich, making it to India as that will add to the viewer base."

The schedule is as follows

Date Fixture Time Channel
1 Dec 05 Winners of Group A Vs Runners up of Group B 17:45 Star Sports
2 Dec 05 Bayern Munich Vs Runners Up of Group A 17:45 Star Sports
4 Dec 05 Winner of Semi Final 1 Vs Winner of Semi Final 2 17:45 Star Sports

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