4-Nation Tournament: Lack of broadcasting for women’s football recedes viewership and sponsorship opportunities

The local broadcasters have announced Cbf TV and SporTV as the official partners for broadcasting.

Indian women’s football team will be facing the former World Cup runners-up Brazil in an international tournament on Friday, November 26. The international tournament will take place in Brazil and the Indian women’s football team facing the host will be one of the historic nights in Indian football history. This competition will be part of the team’s preparation for the AFC Asian Cup that will take place next year. Chile is ranked 37th, and Venezuela who is 56th in the FIFA rankings are the other teams that the 57th-ranked Indians will be facing. The tournament will be held in Manaus, Brazil, from November 25 – December 1.

For many years, Star Sports have been broadcasting Indian football including the Indian Super League and they never fall short of promoting the tournament. There’s a reason why Kerala Blasters always play the first game of the season. The Manjappada fan base themselves bring in massive viewership that brings more business making opportunities, The money-making minds are always active but then it doesn’t process during India women’s football matches.

Broadcasting brings in viewership, viewership brings in sponsors and thus the sport moves forward. The late announcement of the telecast of the game will decrease the opportunity for gathering sponsors and viewers. The schedule and telecast in Brazil have been announced, India will play the home side early morning at 6:30 am IST on Friday and against Chile and Venezuela at 2:30 am IST on November 29 and December 2 respectively.

The details of broadcasting and streaming were officially announced a couple of days before India’s game. Brazil FA is ready to share live feed with the AIFF and fans will get to watch it on the official social handles of Indian football. The local broadcasters have announced Cbf TV and SporTV as the official partners for broadcasting.

Considering the odd timings due to the difference in time zone’s between Brazil and India, TV broadcasting of the visitors’ game could have uplifted the buzz for Indian women’s football. A proper broadcast of the game could have increased the opportunity of attaining more viewership and sponsorship deals for the women’s division of the game. A plethora of business opportunities through this broadcast could be debatable but telecasting the game could have worked well for women’s football in the longer run.

Playing Brazil is easily the biggest ever match India will play, perhaps for a long time in this sport. The match timings are declared based on the local preference. There are Indian fans who have stayed up all night to follow European football and therefore, to follow Indian football for one day shouldn’t be a problem. There would be a set of audiences who would tune in for a late-night and early morning game to watch their country’s women’s team play football. 

The broadcast of football in India has been dominated by Star India and Sony India. Indian sports rights market was worth around $1.1 billion in 2019. Football has always been second in the Indian on-ground sponsorship revenue, yet the broadcasting standards have always remained at a disappointing low. Promotions and marketing have to be given priority for Indian football to grow.

Commenting on the viewpoint, Harsh, writer, IFTWC said, ” The match against Brazil is certainly going to be one of the biggest matches Indian Football will see in recent times. India rarely faces opponents of such magnitude, so it will be a treat to watch us play against them.”

“Chile and Venezuela will be great opponents too as we will get exposure for the all-important Asian Cup. The marketing for the same, we feel, could have been better. Since this tournament will be a farewell for Formiga, we are hoping that we can at least get live streaming from the Brazilian FA.”

The head coach of the Indian side, Thomas Dennerby, on Thursday announced a squad of a total of 23 players that will travel to Brazil. 

Brazil, on the other hand, has announced their side too. Legends like Marta da Silva and Formiga Mota have been included. Surely, it’s going to be tough but Indians won’t be an easy team to beat. 

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