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Ten Sports nets UEFA Champions and I-League rights

Ten Sports will continue to televise the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League until 2015, as well as adding the coming season of the domestic I-League to its football fare, after securing broadcast rights to the three competitions.

The deal with UEFA sees Ten Sports renew its coverage of both the Champions League and Europa League, gaining exclusive rights to the tournaments from 2012-2015 across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Ten Sports and Ten Action+, operated by the Zee-owned Taj TV, will broadcast at least four live European football matches – from either the Champions or the Europa Leagues – each week of the competition, in addition to showing delayed coverage and highlights packages.

Meanwhile, the Dubai-based broadcaster will also show 75 live I-League games from the 182-match season which begins on 22 October and runs until the end of next April. It follows a deal reached with IMG Reliance, the marketing partner of the competition's organiser, the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

"Zee and Ten have been supporters of Indian football for many years and we continue committed to our vision of enhancing and adding value to the sport," said Atul Pande, chief executive, Ten Sports.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das expressed satisfaction with the deal and said the broadcaster's marketing activity and coverage on Ten Action+ would help raise the profile of 26-round I-League.

The I-League rights were sold to IMG Reliance following the sudden termination of the ten year broadcast and marketing rights deal between the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Zee Sports a year ago.

That partnership was dissolved four years short of its expiry date and led to blank screens for India's football fans during the last I-League season, which was won by Salgaocar.

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