BBC to relay four World Cup matches live on AIR

MUMBAI: Fifa World Cup 2006 seems to be generating considerable buzz in India. More than just the scores, the All India Radio (AIR) service promises live commentary for the opening match, semi-finals, and the final.

For this AIR has entered into an agreement with the BBC World Service. The play-by-play commentary will be given by iconic commentators of BBC Radio Five Live Allen Green and John Murray.          

BBC World service will unfold all the events that will take place at the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica. BBC also brings former England manager Graham Taylor who will provide the summary of the match. This is for the first time that BBC World will be executing live commentary for AIR around the World Cup.

Speaking to, BBC World Service senior commissioning editor Neil Curry says, "I am delighted with the opportunity to showcase BBC sport journalism to our listeners in India. As per the deal we will do live commentary for All India Radio listeners for the opening ceremony, the two semi-finals and the finals."

Curry is hopefull that the arrangement for live commentary will be extended to the other matches as well, saying: "AIR is endeavoring to acquire the rights on other important matches (as well); nevertheless, we are waiting for a word on that."

BBC World Service has already been carrying out the World Cup programming for AIR. The BBC Hindi reporter Manak Gupta has been bringing special reports on all 32 teams.

The various aspects covered so far include country profiles, What is the World Cup?, World Cup History , History of the Trophy , Profile of Brazil - the favourite team, that has won the World Cup the most number of times. What is it about this nation that makes them World Cup specialists?

Besides the above package, BBC World has also created other packages that have been relayed on AIR. These include: Most successful, The greatest players, The Indian perspective and a detailed interview with veteran football expert Novi Kapadia.

BBC Hindi World Cup reports will be heard for six weeks on India's main national broadcaster All India Radio's Gold 106.4 FM and Rajdhani 666 MW. These reports will also be relayed by All India Radio's 65 other major stations at 07.05 local time every day until 10 July. These special World Cup reports will also be available in text and audio online at and

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