Ten Sports Network renews I-League broadcasting contract

MUMBAI: Ten Sports Network has renewed the broadcasting contract of I-League for an additional one year. The broadcaster had the rights for 10 years since the inception of the league. The entire rights of India football is with IMG Reliance and the broadcaster’s deal is with the company.   

The league was officially launched today in Kolkata in the presence of players from all nine competing clubs, along with All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Kushal Das and representative from Hero Motocorp.

This season will have two debutants in the I-League namely DSK Shivajians FC and Aizawl FC. With the addition of these two clubs, the battle for the ultimate glory in Indian football will be fought between nine clubs. The Hero I-League 2015-16 kicks off on the back of some solid showing by the Indian players in the recently concluded SAFF Championship 2015-16 and the Hero Indian Super League 2015.

The first match of the Hero I-League 2015-16 season will see defending champions Mohun Bagan take on Aizawl FC in Kolkata on 9 January, 2016.

Touting this Hero I-League season as the most competitive and promising, Das said, “We’ve witnessed an enthralling Hero I-League last season, which kept us captivated till the final whistle on 31 May, 2015. Definitely the teams will try to push their limits this season too and strive hard to win the silverware. Champions Mohun Bagan can’t show any signs of complacency as all eight teams will play out of their skins to dethrone them.”

Hero MotoCorp chairman MD and CEO Pawal Munjal added, “This will be the second year of our association with the I-League and after the exemplary show last season, we are all eagerly looking forward to the upcoming season which kicks off in three days. Over the years we have continued to support various sporting events in the country and it gives us immense pleasure to be associated with both the Hero ISL as well as the Hero I-League. Football is fast emerging as one of the most popular sports among youngsters in the country and we are indeed happy to support the game. After the grand conclusion of the Hero ISL season 2, it is now time for Hero I-League to take centre stage.”

Over the next five months, fans will get to witness 72 high-octane matches across six cities in the country. Traditional rivals Mohan Bagan and East Bengal will lock horns on 23 January, 2016 amidst the ever-so-passionate Kolkata fans. The return leg between these two Indian Football power houses will be played on 2 April, 2016.

The Hero I-League 2015-16 champions will receive a whopping prize amount of Rs 1 crore. It may be recalled that the previous season’s champions pocketed Rs 70 lakh in prize money. The teams finishing second and third will win Rs 60 lakh and Rs 40 lakh respectively. Additionally, winners of every game will win Rs 50,000. As if this was not enough, travel subsidy has been raised to Rs 45 lakh with the match day subsidy hiked to Rs 1 lakh.

The Hero I-League 2015-16 will be telecast live across the Ten Sports Network.

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