Ten Network to telecast I-League '17 from 7 Jan

MUMBAI: With the U-17 World Cup coming up next year, both ISL and the I-League would be the major sporting platforms to engage audience with the game. With the third season of Hero Indian Super League already under way, and being widely followed, it will be interesting to see how the next season of the I- League pans out.

The 10th season of I-League starts on the 7 January, 2017. The premier football league in the country has undergone a few changes since the advent of the Indian Super League. With talks of a merger with ISL going on since a few months now, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has said that this might be the last year of the I-League.

Bengaluru FC, the team which recently reached the finals of the AFC Cup, are the defending champions of the I-League. With Salgaocar FC and Sporting Clube de Goa pulling out of the mix, the AIFF had called for entries to new clubs into the top-tier directly via bids. In 2013, Bengaluru FC and Mumbai Tigers got their direct entries into the I-League, and it has been a terrific journey for the Blues since.

Meanwhile, two new teams, Minerva Punjab FC and Chennai City FC, had their bids approved and are all set to be a part of the league commencing 7 January. This comes as a welcome news as Punjab, as a state, will make its debut into the game this season.

Ten Network will be telecasting the I-league in India. Joining hands with the AIFF and IMG- Reliance, the Network -- owned by Sony Pictures Network, will be telecasting 75 matches in each season. With the ISL bringing new excitement to the game in the country, the I-League would like to tap into new audience for the next season.

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