Lausanne: Despite India serving a ban from the Olympic fold, the International Olympic Committee has awarded broadcast rights of several important multi-sporting events, including 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, for seven South Asian countries to an Indian channel.
Star India has been handed the broadcast rights for the XXII Olympic Winter Games (2014) in Sochi, Russia; the Games of the XXXI Olympiad (2016) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games (2014) in Nanjing, China.
"STAR India acquired the rights to all media platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile, in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. STAR India will work to ensure that the broadest possible audience has access to broadcasts of the Olympic Games," the IOC said in a statement on its website.
IOC President Jacques Rogge welcomed the granting of the broadcast rights to Star India.
"We welcome the opportunity to work with STAR India for the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. We are confident they will do a great job providing the best possible broadcast coverage of the Games, on a variety of platforms, to the largest possible audience in the seven different countries."
IOC Finance Commission Chairman Richard Carrion, who led the negotiations, said, "Traditionally IOC has negotiated broadcast rights on a pan-Asian basis; however, the media landscape is changing and we have adapted our approach recently by negotiating directly in certain markets. We are pleased to have reached this agreement directly with STAR India."
Nitin Kukreja, Head of Sport Business for STAR India, said, "The Olympic Games remain the pinnacle of sporting achievement where the world`s best in various disciplines face off for the title of Olympic champion. Indian athletes have also performed admirably over the last few editions, which is evident in the medal-winning performances that we have come to admire. We value our partnership with the IOC and feel that this spectacular extravaganza can be taken to even greater heights in India on both television as well as on digital platforms."