Tuesday, April 18, 2006

ESPN Star Sports 'must share' World Cup in India

The Indian government has published its list of non-cricket, domestic and international sports events which must be shared with the public broadcaster, Doordarshan, over the next five years. The mandatory sharing of feed of listed events is part of 'downlinking' standards announced by the government in November 2005 and includes the summer and winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Afro-Asian Games.

The list shows the increasing popularity of football across India. For domestic football, it includes the semi-final and final matches of the Subroto Cup, Santosh Trophy, Federation Cup, Durand Cup, National Women's Football and Junior National Football. All AFC Asia Cup matches featuring India must be shared as well as the tournament's semis and final.

However, also listed are major international competitions involving few or no Indian players or teams such as the semi-final and final matches of the UEFA European Cup and FIFA World Cup.

Earlier this month, ESPN Star Sports reached in-principal agreements with Doordarshan to cover shared broadcasts if the government listed the FIFA World Cup. According to Indian Television, ESS, which holds the exclusive rights for the India region, would share the feeds on a 75:25 revenue share basis.

See also: ESPN Star Sports targets 50% growth in S Asia (17 Mar) and
Cumulative World Cup viewers in India to top 804m (3 Mar)

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