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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2003

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Doordarshan makes Rs 1.5 cr from Afro-Asian Games

Nithya Subramanian

New Delhi , Oct. 21

PRASAR Bharati seems to finally get its sports act together. The national broadcaster has managed to make money on the forthcoming Afro-Asian Games to be held in Hyderabad later in the week. It is also finalising acquisition of terrestrial rights for the Olympics and the World Cup soccer.

A Prasar Bharati official said that unlike the previous years, this time it has managed to generate revenues up to Rs 1.50 crore from the Afro-Asian Games. Previously, sporting events like these got very little advertising. "We decided to sell advertising spots for the games along with the ongoing cricket Triangular Series as a package. Therefore, sponsors such as LG, Bajaj, Britannia, HPCL, Gillette, Asian Paints, Hero Honda and TVS are on board," said the official.

However, due to the Triangular Series, Prasar Bharati has decided that on days when the games clash with cricket, matches would be aired on DD Metro. The games would also be aired on All India Radio's national channel live, along with a daily round-up in the evenings.

Sources in Prasar Bharati also added that negotiations for terrestrial rights for the Athens Olympics and World Cup soccer are also on. "The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, an industry association, will acquire the rights for both Olympics and soccer. Through the union, we are also likely to get the rights," said the official.

The national broadcaster had faced major hurdles to acquire the last FIFA World Cup rights. TEN Sports had both the terrestrial and satellite rights for the soccer matches. However, TEN Sports had problems dealing with DD, which is the only terrestrial broadcaster. B4U had to intervene before the deal was finally swung in favour of DD.

Officials said that Prasar Bharati is getting active in acquiring rights and marketing events due to the revenue potential. Also, recently, DD Sports ended its distribution association with Modi Entertainment Network (MEN) and turned a free-to-air channel.

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