Doordarshan is the sole TV broadcaster to have shown interest in buying telecast rights for the first Afro-Asian Games to be held in New Delhi from November 3 to 11 this year.
In case DD gets the status of host broadcasters, the games will be shown live on DD Sports. For other DD channels, a decision will be taken after working out the modalities with IOA. DD has not quoted any figure to IOA as fee for claiming rights. It is waiting for a reply from IOA.
Considering that both DD and IOA have very little time in their hands, a deal should be finalised soon. But it is not known whether IOA alone can negotiate the deal with DD considering that the Games belong to the Afro-Asian Games Council comprising representatives from both Asia and Africa. The Africans are likely to demand their share from the revenue generated from the TV rights of the Games. This aspect has to be sorted out before DD goes into an agreement with IOA.
In a cricket crazy country, Olympic sport, such as track and field, football, hockey and weightlifting etc, have a very low rating in India. DD, therefore, may find it difficult to market the Games to the sponsors.
Internationally, TV telecast rights for major multi-discipline events like the Olympic Games, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, are negotiated and settled at least four to five years in advance. In fact, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is today the richest sport body in the world mainly due to selling of the telecast rights for the Olympic Games. More than 200 member countries of IOC, including India, get a large share from this TV revenue. Even during the days of crashing economy in South-East Asia in the ’90s, Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998 made a profit mainly through TV rights.