NDTV 24x7, the
English news channel from the NDTV stable, has decided to get into live broadcast of sport events. It will telecast the final of the Durand Cup 2007 live on November 7. No other news channel in India, including NDTV 24x7, has ever beamed live sports ever before.
Of late, NDTV 24x7 has been experimenting with non-news programming. In the last couple of months, it has undertaken programming that is not news and including genres such as movies, education, wildlife and sports. Programmes such as 'Documentary 24x7', which showcased award winning documentaries from around the world, and 'Scholar', in which participants could win a scholarship to study abroad, are examples. All this is an endeavour to make the channel's content more interesting and contemporary for its viewers and to make it more interactive, too.
NDTV 24x7 also telecast the semi-finals of the Durand Cup on November 5.
The Durand Cup is the oldest football tournament in India and the third oldest football tournament in the world, after the English FA Cup and the Scottish FA Cup. Till recently, there was no broadcaster airing the Durand Cup matches on television.
Figures indicate that football viewership has been growing continuously in India. The target audience for the sport is mostly males in the age group 15+, in SEC A+, A, B+ and B segments.
In 2006, the English Premier League (EPL) reached 42.8 million viewers in India. This number accounted for almost 50 per cent of the cable TV wired homes in India. The figures for the FIFA World Cup last year were almost double that of EPL. The viewership for the Spanish Premier League has also been growing steadily, reaching nearly one in three cable homes in 2004-05.
NDTV believes that the base of football lovers in India have preferred watching football over cricket. But as a precaution, the date of the final match has been shifted from November 8 to November 7 so that it doesn't clash with the second one day international (ODI) in the ongoing Indo-Pak series.