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DD-B4U pact to telecast World Cup Football

29-May-2002
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DD-B4U pact to telecast World Cup Football

The pall of suspense looming over the telecast of World Cup Football on Doordarshan, particularly after the face off between Ten Sports and National Broadcaster got over on Tuesday evening when B4U sewed up an agreement with Prasar Bharati after days of intense negotiation. B4U had bought terrestrial rights for India from Ten Sports.

Though Doordarshan will be finally telecasting FIFA World Cup Soccer, it is however not very happy situation for the soccer fans as the public broadcaster will not be doing the live telecast of World Cup Football. Moreover DD will be beaming only few selected matches out of the sixty four fixtures.

According to S Y Quraishi, Director General Doordarshan, only four matches including opening match, two semi-finals and final will be telecast on DD National, besides the opening and closing ceremony of the World Cup Football. These matches will be telecast deferred live at 11 p.m. (IST), besides this there will be daily one hour highlights of World Cup Soccer. Doordarshan’s regional channels will repeat the telecast a day later. There will be no telecast on DD Sports as this is not a terrestrial network.

Quraishi told exchange4media that as per the agreement B4U will be buying telecast times on Doordarshan under sponsored category after paying for the telecast fee. B4U in turn will be selling the advertising spots on its own. “We have played safe. Though we may be earning only nominal revenue, yet we will be able to telecast select matches and highlights without spending anything, says Quraishi.”

Prasar Bharati, which proved to be hard negotiator has put B4U in a tight spot as it failed to resell the soccer rights to Doordarshan, which it bought at a hefty price from Ten Sports.

B4U alternate plan to beam matches on Doordarshan on revenue sharing basis also backfired. Not only that B4U could not fully utilise, it lost option of buying telecast time on Doordarshan and selling ad spots all by itself as Doordarshan agreed to telecast only limited number of matches.

As a result of this B4U is faced with a serious problem of selling ad spots on Doordarshan to recover the high telecast right fee it paid to Ten Sports. Particularly so as the big time advertiser have shown lukewarm response to Ten Sports, which will be beaming the World Cup Football live. But B4U bosses feel that unlike Ten Sports, which has limited reach, the extraordinary high reach Doordarshan National has will attract the advertisers.

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