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Ranit Bajaj Slams Star Sports Once Again...

Atrayo Bhattacharya  |  I-League  |  2 Months Ago

The Hero I-League has been an exemplary league-format tournament in Indian football since its inception back in 2007. The league over the years has produced the best in quality football in an unadulterated form. The competition to clinch the crown has also heated up in the last few years, with clubs like Aizawl FC and Minerva Punjab rising up the ladder and claiming the coveted trophy. The League has spread its wings and has reached out to the extreme north of the country, Kashmir. Real Kashmir FC became the first team to play in India's top division from the valley and is in hot on Chennai’s heels in the title race for the current edition of the fray. 

 

With the current edition of I-League, being a closely-contested encounter, Star Sports India has just thrown a spanner in the excitement of all the Indian fans. The channel that holds the rights of the I-League telecast has decided to cut down their coverage from 29th December and will be telecasting a selected list of 30 matches from the remaining 60 that are left. 

 

The decision is set to affect teams like Indian Arrows, Aizawl FC, Gokulam Kerala and also the defending champions, Minerva Punjab. They will get only one of their remaining 11 games televised. Such an evident tailspin is a clear statement that the league wants to cut down the cost of its television rights at the expense of the I-League. 

 

There have been several complaints about the channel, neglecting the I-League with poor streaming quality and coverage, along with no pre and post-match shows and absence of match highlights. 

 

However, Star Sports is still to come out with an explanation for such a disastrous decision in cutting down the coverage of the I-League games. One of the primary reasons can be the busy schedule for different events as Star India also holds the rights for Badminton Pro League and Pro Kabaddi League. The congestion will be even more if they bag the Asian Cup rights, which is starting from next month. The Blue Tigers will be featuring in this edition of the tournament in UAE and the busy schedule of the continent's highest possible crown can also be a crucial reason for taking such a heavy step. 



Star India is till to clear the fact that if the remaining matches will be streamed in their digital platform through Hotstar. The news allowed a social media uproar among the fans as they are not ready to accept the fact of being deprived of their favourite team's clashes. Fans in Kolkata who are not that much affected by the step as East Bengal and Mohun Bagan will have their nine and eighth matches televised respectively out of the remaining 11 fixtures. 





Some of the infuriated social media posts include tweets from fans, journalists along with Minerva Punjab owner Mr Ranjit Bajaj. 

 

Bajaj tweeted, “Shame that @ILeagueOfficial the most interesting league in Asia for the last two years and also but the looks of it this year too .... is being systematically killed by @StarSportsIndia and FSDL .... and all the money is being spent on ISL ( recognised as a cup )”

 

His tirade was also directed against the ISL games as they will receive complete telecast and also equal importance including proper pre and post shows and even highlights, which may extend to a period of even a year after the tournament is over.






 

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