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General News DD, AIR set to provide free-to-air coverage of FIFA U-17 WC
NEW DELHI: India, which has seen every format of cricket, is, for the first time, all set to play host to the other big world game – football – which has so far remained the domain of the western world, with just Kerala, West Bengal, Goa and the north-eastern states' viewers showing interest in the sport.

A total of 24 teams in six groups are taking part in the Under-17 FIFA World Cup commencing tomorrow, and concluding on 28 October at six venues.

While Sony Sports holds the rights to the tourney, the matches will also be shown live on Doordarshan Sports under the Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007. In addition, All-India Radio will also be giving live commentaries of the matches as they take place.

DD Sports has lined up an eminent panel of experts for the FIFA U-17 World Cup which includes the man who is the face of football in India -- Baichung Bhutia. The others are Aditi Chauhan, who is the Indian Women Team goalkeeper, Sukhwinder Singh, who is the former India coach, and the former Indian footballer Renedy Singh, who, along with others, will be part of the pre-match and post-match show 'Goal For Glory' with the theme line of "Football Takes Over."

As provided in the Act, Doordarshan is doing its own marketing for the 52 matches being shown live by DD Sports. All the matches will be telecast on DD Sports which will be available on its terrestrial and the free-to-air FreeDish platform. Following recent court orders, DD has already forbidden cable TV networks or other private DTH platforms from beaming the DD signals.

A senior DD Sports official told that the DD marketing team is in discussions with sponsors, and most of the matters are in the final stage of negotiations. He said the public broadcaster has drawn out a comprehensive media publicity and promotion plan which majorly includes cross-channel publicity, print publicity, using its hoardings and publicity in its social media platforms.

AIR additional director-general (sports) Ashok Nigam told that the marketing for AIR had been done through cross-channel promotion among AIR networks, and on social media. AIR is not doing any out-of-home publicity such as hoardings. It was also examining promotion on community radio stations. Sponsors will also include some central ministries, he said.

Expert comments in English on the game will be by Novy Kapadia, Niladri Sen and Prasanjit Dutta while the Hindi commentators are -- Sanjay Banerjee, Rajat Sengupta, and Ashish Chrompoo.

Nigam said AIR intended to originate live bilingual commentary (in Hindi and English) of the opening match scheduled in Delhi tomorrow, all three group matches of India to be played in Delhi and all matches from pre-quarter-final stage onwards, scheduled in Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Margao (Goa), Guwahati, Kochi and Kolkata to the final match on 28 October 2017.

Live commentary of the matches would be available over AIR’s FM Rainbow network, programmes of which were aired from over 30 stations across India, and additionally over Primary Channels (MW) of Capital AIR stations in Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.

Daily reports would also be broadcast over all Capital AIR stations (MW) and FM Gold network at 0840 hours on the days following match days.

AIR had been providing maximum coverage to FIFA Under-17 World Cup being held for the first time in India by airing several special programmes. These included interviews with the minister of sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and the ministry of youth affairs and sports secretary (sports) Injeti Srinivas.

Another programme in the series of special programmes is being aired at 830 pm tonight. In addition to this, a live radio bridge programme titled ‘Khelo Football’ on FIFA Under-17 World Cup-2017 linking all cities hosting the event would be broadcast over FM Gold and Primary Channels (MW) of Capital AIR Stations early today from 9.10 am to 10 am.

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