One of the major issues raised at the meeting of those concerned with the I-League was the lack of enough publicity and advertising for the country’s top league which doesn’t aid the cause of any.
The representative of Zee Sports, the official broadcast and marketing partner of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), allegedly stated that that they don’t have the schedule of the games in advance with football viewing being more of an ‘appointment TV’ which means that the fans need to be aware of the calendar.
With the games being played in the afternoons at most centres, automatically a large chunk of fans cannot view the matches as they are not placed in the primetime slot.
The Indian national team are to play a host of friendly games in the coming months of September and October while the I-League shall also kickoff from November.
On being queried over the developments in the discussions the AIFF are having with Zee Sports and whether the AIFF have received an assurance from them over the broadcast of the Indian national team’s friendlies and I-League, the reply was ambivalent.
“According to the agreement we have with Zee there is a provision for review on completion of five years of the agreement. This is review is in progress,” said Alberto Colaco, the AIFF general secretary.
From the AIFF, the matter is being handled by Praful Patel, the AIFF president and Alberto Colaco and they have had several rounds of discussions lasting numerous hours with the Essel Group.
It is believed that the next two months could be crucial as the crunch talks shall be held between the two parties as there has to be an end of the review so that there can be some positive action.