AIFF to sign Rs.700 crore deal with Reliance-IMG

December 8th, 2010 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is all set to sign a Rs.700 crore telecast and marketing rights deal with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)-International Management Group (IMG) at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) here Thursday.

A top AIFF official told IANS Wednesday that Reliance-IMG wanted to sign a 30-year deal, but a bitter experience with Zee Sports prompted the federation to settle for 15 years.

“We were negotiating the deal for the last one month. The blueprint is ready and tomorrow the deal will be signed. It is valued at Rs.700 crores for a period of 15 years,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official also said that Reliance-IMG will first transfer Rs.70 crores to AIFF to pay out its existing deal with Zee Sports.

“The deal will be passed by our executive committee tomorrow. Once the deal is signed, the AIFF will feel comfortable because our expenses have increased. We have already spent Rs.16 crores on the ambitious Goal Project,” the official said.

“Reliance-IMG will now have to look for a telecast partner and title sponsor for the I-League. We have also forwarded to them all proposals that we received for the telecast rights of the I-League for the 2010-11 season,” he said.

AIFF’s deal with Zee was to run till 2014 but the federation decided to call it off with still fours years left as it felt that its tournaments, especially the showpiece I-League, was not getting the desired publicity or coverage.

Delayed payments from Zee Sports did not help matters and after Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel took over as the AIFF president, the federation decided to review the deal.

Even though Zee the deal was till 2014, there is a clause to review it after five years. Taking advantage of this, the AIFF decided to terminate the contract.

RIL and IMG Worldwide, the world’s leading sports marketing and management company, earlier this year formed a joint venture, IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd to develop, market and manage sports and entertainment in India.

As a first step, IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd has already decided to sponsor the under-15 football team for four years.

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