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EPL TV rights for India up for grabs
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MUMBAI: While cricket has grabbed the spotlight, one of the lucrative football properties is coming up for grabs next month for the Indian territory.

The English Premier League (EPL) TV telecast rights will be from August 2010 - May 2012, an industry source says. ESPN Star Sports had paid $13.5 million for three-year rights for the Indian subcontinent, one of the developing markets for football TV viewing as compared to China, korea and Japan in the Asian region.

ESPN Software India MD RC Venkateish notes that it is just not the prime time airing but the quality of soccer and the stars that have grown the EPL in India. When asked about how the EPL stacks up in terms of value versus the Fifa World Cup, for which ESS has the rights, he says the two properties can’t be compared and each have their own appeal. While one lasts for 39 weeks, the other is a compressed format.

It is not clear how aggressive Neo Sports and Ten Sports will be in bidding for the property. Neo has the Italian and German soccer in their ranks. “We will take our decision when the rights come up,” says Neo Sports Broadcast COO Prasana Krishnan.

Ten Sports, on the other hand, has the Uefa Champions League, Europa League, Dutch League and Scottish league.

Sources say Abu Dhabi TV has taken the three-year rights for approximately $280 million for the Middle East region. The rights are currently with Showtime TV.

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