Ten Sports Was Close To Signing IMG-Reliance To Broadcast Indian Football
Zee-owned sports broadcaster Ten Sports has said that it was "close to signing a deal with IMG-Reliance" for the broadcast rights of India's top football league, the I-League, and the annual Federation Cup tournament, according to INDIANTELEVISION.com. Indian business conglomerate Essel Group sports business CEO Atul Pande said, "Ten Sports has been supporting I-League for the last six years and will continue to do so if given the opportunity. We are close to coming to an agreement with IMGR." He also denied claims by All India Football Federation senior officials that Ten Sports "backed out of the Federation Cup deal at the last moment thereby leaving the football governing body and the commercial rights holder IMG Reliance in lurch." Pande said that, contrary to rumors, the sports broadcaster will put the property on-air as soon as it gets the feed from IMGR. The production of the property is being taken care of by IMGR. Industry sources report that IMGR is "out in the market for a three-year deal for both Federation Cup and I-League." The negotiation with Ten Sports is stuck because IMGR "feels the value it is being offered doesn't even cover its production cost" (INDIANTELEVISION.com, 9/24).