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Ten Sports reaches Indian football deal

Indian pay-television broadcaster Ten Sports has purchased rights for the domestic I-League top division and Federation Cup football tournaments.

Ten will show up to 75 games per year from the I-League in a three-year deal, from 2012-13 to 2014-15.

The rights for the Federation Cup cover two seasons, from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

The deals include mobile and internet rights, and Ten will show games live and on a delayed basis.

“Ten Sports has always supported Indian football and we continue committed to our vision of enhancing and adding value to the sport,” Ten Sports chief executive Atul Pande said.

Ten struck the deal with IMG-Reliance, a sports and media joint venture between the IMG agency and Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. IMG-Reliance, as the media and marketing partner of the All India Football Federation national governing body, had reportedly come under pressure from the federation and clubs as the start of the I-League season this Saturday drew close without a domestic broadcast deal in place.

According to the Indian Television news website, IMG-Reliance is now focusing on agreeing rights deals for the federation’s events with regional broadcasters in India.

IMG Reliance owns the federation’s media, intellectual property and sponsorship rights under a 15-year deal, from 2010 to 2025. However, last month, Indian newspaper the Hindu said that the federation was considering activating an exit clause so it could negotiate its own broadcast deals.