The AIFF has also contacted Doordarshan Kashmir to broadcast Real Kashmir’s games.
Less than a fortnight after the I-League’s official broadcaster, Star Sports’ announcement of a cutback the league’s coverage, the telecast demands are set to be met, according to the Times of India.
A recent decision by the AIFF and the I-League will see the non-televised games streamed live on the digital platform of Star Sports, Hotstar along with Jio TV. The production costs for the streaming of the games will be borne by the AIFF.
According to an I-League, the fixture between NEROCA FC and Shillong Lajong (January 4) will be the first game to be streamed on OTT (Over The Top) platforms. “We have arrived at this decision in consultation with Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL). There will be commentary, highlights and replays for these games,” an I-League official told TOI.
The spokesperson also confirmed that for the home games of Real Kashmir, Doordarshan Kashmir has been contacted for telecast purposes.
“Only five-six home games of Real Kashmir will be shown on Doordarshan Kashmir. We are still in dialogue with DD and we will probably get the feed for those matches too,” he added.
“We did not want the fans to miss out on the I-League action. Having worked this out with our commercial partners FSDL, we have come to the conclusion that the matches which will not be broadcast, will be available online,” AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said. “These matches will be shown with commentary, highlights and replays.”
I-League CEO Sunando Dhar added, “The commitment was to show all the matches and we are happy that they will be live streamed so that football fans can now follow their favourite teams.”
Interestingly, a recent press conference by I-League (Private) Clubs Association, led by Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj, demanded the I-League games be shown live among other things. The association also threatened to take legal action against the AIFF if their demands were not met before January 5.
While the telecast problems are set to be over for the I-League clubs, there has not been any word from the apex body about any of their other demands, which were put forward in the press conference in Kolkata on December 30th last year. While it is unclear if the governing body will heed to all of the association’s demands, the future of the league’s clubs also looks uncertain at the moment.