Kathmandu, November 17
The South Asian Olympic Council today sold the 13th South Asian Games broadcast rights to Indian company, NK Media Ventures Pvt Ltd.
Nepal is hosting the 13th edition of the regional sporting extravaganza from December 1-10 in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Janakpur and the governing body of the Games, SAOC sold the broadcast rights — video and photo — for the first time.
SOAC and Nepal Olympic Committee General Secretary Nilendra Raj Shrestha and Managing Director of NK Media Prabhat Ranjan Mallick inked the memorandum of understanding at a signing ceremony. As per the deal, NK Media will provide the SAOC with Rs 80 million against the broadcasting rights of the SA Games. The Bhubaneswar-based NK Media will telecast all the SA Games events in 15 television channels in seven participating nations and will also share the advertisement income on equal basis.
The SOAC then signed another MoU with the National Sports Council. According to the agreement signed by SOAC General Secretary Shrestha and the NSC Member Secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal, the former will provide the sports governing body with 50 per cent of the amounts received from NK Media. In a separate agreement, the SOAC handed the promotion rights to Fiscal Agent.
SOAC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha described the moment a historic one. “The SA Games began from Nepal and we sold the broadcasting rights for the first time. The Olympic Games also took a huge stride after selling broadcast rights and today various cities toil hard to get the hosting rights of the Olympics,” he said. “Even the broadcasters bid huge for the rights in Asian Games,” he added.
NSC Member Secretary Silwal said the move was new one for Nepali sports. “We reached the agreement as we did not want to limit the SA Games just to our country,” said Silwal. NK Media CMD Mallick thanked the Nepal government and SAOC for entrusting his company to telecast the important event like SA Games. “We will telecast the events of the Games in all seven countries and it will let the world know about the positive side of Nepal,” he said.
More than 5,000 delegates including 3,250 athletes will take part in the regional meet that features 27 sports disciplines. Nepal is fielding the highest number of athletes — 648 — and is the only nation to participate in all 27 sports disciplines. SA Games powerhouse, India is sending 521 athletes in 20 disciplines, while Sri Lanka has entered 612 athletes in 25 disciplines. Likewise, Bangladesh is sending 591 athletes in 25 disciplines, while Pakistan will send 413 athletes in 18 sports. Bhutan (135) and Maldives (332) will take part in 14 and 10 disciplines respectively. The SA Games offers a total of 1135 medals — 324 gold, 324 silver and 487 bronze.
A version of this article appears in print on November 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.