Three bids...With the All India Football Federation (AIFF) advertising for potential broadcast partners for the 2010-11 season of the I-League after setting up a deadline of less than 48 hours over the weekend, three channels have sent in their proposals.
Kolkata TV and Channel 10 have made a joint bid while 24 Ghanta and Ruparshi Bangla are the other two entrants in the scenario. None of the mainstream English sports channels have shown their interest and expectedly so given the state I-League is in the present day.
The AIFF are to review the options available in the course of the next few days and thereby decide to award the rights to the best possible bidder.
With IMG-Reliance expected to be the long term broadcast and marketing partner for the AIFF; a deal which is to be signed later this week according to sources, it was a surprising that the Indian FA looked for channels to broadcast the I-League, which in an ideal situation would have been the assignment of IMG-Reliance in this case.
The primary reason the AIFF has had to invite bidders for the broadcasting of the I-League has been due to the ‘time’ factor.
The contract with Zee Telefilms has not yet been annulled and will be done so only when the AIFF and IMG-Reliance are on the same page which shall help the national football federation pay off the annulment fee.
It is likely that a public sector unit would be the main sponsor of the I-League and the new logo of the nation’s top division is expected to be out as well.