ESPN-STAR to telecast 2010 FIFA World Cup in India news
03 July 2008

Mumbai: ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) has bagged the broadcast rights for the FIFA World Cup 2010 to be held in South Africa for a walloping  $40 million.

Under the terms of agreement, ESPN-STAR will have the exclusive rights to show over 275 international football games including the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup, in the Indian subcontinent.

In addition, it will bring other FIFA World Cup events for men, women, youth, Futsal and Beach soccer to fans in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal.

Sports channels, Ten Sports and Neo Sports were a part of the bidding process. According to sources, Taj Television-owned Ten Sports came close with its $35 million bid, while Neo Sports put a bid of $28 million. Eventually FIFA granted the exclusive rights to ESPN-STAR for its highest bid.

The 2010 World Cup played from 11 June to 11 July feature 64 games. ESPN-STAR coverage will include live matches accompanied by English and Hindi commentary for all games, daily pre-shows during match days, a daily review show as well as special lead-up programming.

ESPN-STAR Sports managing director Manu Sawhney stated that ESPN-STAR was dedicated to popularise and built the game of football in the Indian Sub-Continent. by broadcasting the game to millions of fans in the most innovative and entertainment manner.

Speaking on the renewed agreement, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said, "It ensures that images of our events including the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be seen by the widest possible audience across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka."

The sudden rise in bids is mainly due to the fact that soccer has become a popular sport in India. ESPN Star had also acquired the exclusive rights to telecast the championship in the Indian subcontinent in 2006 while Ten Sports was the official broadcaster in 2002.

Besides having the telecast right of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and the Spanish Primera Liga, the sports  network also held exclusive broadcast rights for the recently concluded UEFA European Championship, won by English club Manchester United.

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ESPN-STAR to telecast 2010 FIFA World Cup in India