Disappointment For Hockey Fans: No Agreement Between AIR, Star India For Radio Commentary Of Hockey World Cup
Disappointment For Hockey Fans: No Agreement Between AIR, Star India For Radio Commentary Of Hockey World CupA still from India’s opening match against South Africa (@TheHockeyIndia/Twitter)

Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcaster was unable to provide live radio commentary for the first day of the Hockey World Cup, being played at Bhubaneswar, Odisha due to their failure to acquire the broadcast rights from Star India, reports Indian Express.

This comes as a blow for fans of the sport who might have wished to follow the World Cup matches on radio. Private radio operators are not allowed to broadcast news or live sports.

“We don’t have any access to the rights,” said Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharati said that they don’t have access to the rights as of now, adding that this is why they are not broadcasting the World Cup matches live on All India Radio, “as of now”.

Vempati said that in such situations, they look at the costs involved and the potential revenue, to gauge the practicality.

In instances where “the cost of the acquisition that are proposed by the rights-holder is high, and we don’t see as much revenue potential,” the event cannot be broadcast, said Vempati.

When asked if AIR could provide commentary for the rest of the World Cup he said that it depends and that the time frame was very short. “Even if, let’s say, the cost comes to an accessible level, it’s probably too late, time is short, we may not realise the revenue,” he said.

As the negotiation with Star, who is the rights-holder across all international markets barring Argentina, is an “ongoing process” he could not disclose the price quoted.

Sources close to the development have claimed that during a meeting in the first week of November, Star India had asked for a fee of Rs 2 lakh per match, while Prasar Bharati had offered Rs 25,000 per match for 15 matches which was rejected by the rights-holder.

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