I-League, after having lost the status of India’s premier professional club league, has some good news in the offing. The league is all set to get a broadcaster for all the games in the upcoming season.
All-India Football Federation and DSport are engaged in advance talks to finalize the broadcast deal for I-League. If all goes well a formal announcement may be made soon and the league will kick start as early as by the month-end.
Lex Sports MD and CEO RC Venkateish has confirmed to insidesport.co that the Discovery Communications-owned channel and the football governing body in India are “close to finalizing the deal. DSport Chief Operations Officer Dilip Sharan is heading the negotiations. A formal announcement will be made once the deal is closed,” he said.
The deal is expected to be in place to start the 11-team league by November 30. The final will be scheduled in the first week of April.
Since all the I-League venues are not ready for late evening games, many matches are expected to have a 2 pm start. Some other games will have kick-off time of 5 pm and 7 pm.
Considering AIFF’s Indian Super League-first approach, a direct clash in start timings for the ISL and I-League games will be avoided.
Host broadcaster Star Sports had televised only the select I-League games last year. The DSport deal in such a scenario will come as a shot in the arm for I-League.